As it turns out, Halloween is for all breeds, human or otherwise. Four-legged ghosts, ghouls and goblins roamed the grounds Sunday during the fourth annual Howl-o-Ween dog walk and costume parade at the Mosquito Lake Dog Park.
The event included dog games and a costume contest; all proceeds go to benefit the Mosquito Lake Dog Park.
"It's safe to say that the costume contests are more fun for the pet owner than the pet," laughed Emily Frantz, president of the Friends of the Mosquito Lake Dog Park. "But, this whole event is just about giving pet owners a chance to spend some time together.
"You are able to take your dogs and go places together. There aren't too many dog friendly places around here and so you're able to come out and spend the day with your dog and have some fun."
Howl-o-Ween also tested the creativity of dog owners. A judging portion of the afternoon event ranked dog costumes in several categories.
"I was one of the three judges and it was very difficult this year," Karen Lutz, 43, of Elite Canine Training said. "There were a lot of very cute, very original costumes. I think it gets better every year."
As this year's Howl-o-Ween drew to a close, all costumed dogs paraded around the park with proud owners showing off their pets.
"My favorite part was seeing all the dogs dressed in their costumes," Shelby Crites, 11, of Howland said. "I got to hand out treats to all the dogs that had their pictures taken. I liked watching the contests that they did."
Other activities included musical squares, a dog recall game and walking with an egg on a spoon.
Coordinators approximate 70 dogs appeared at the event, a significant increase over previous years.
"It seems like it gets bigger and bigger every year," Frantz said. "The weather was great all day, and I think that had a lot to do with it. I couldn't even count how many dogs in costumes we had today. This is by far the largest group we've ever had."
The dog park opened in 2009.