It's not your average costume party. A parade of costumed pets – the second annual Barkfest – is set for this Sunday at 2 p.m. at the on Nesconset Highway.
What's more, the event will benefit Save-a-Pet Animal Rescue in Port Jefferson Station.
Save-a-Pet is anticipating over 500 animals will take part in the parade, which starts at 2 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for best costume and most creative, among other categories.
The shelter started Barkfest last year as an avenue for raising awareness. Lynne Schoepfer, the executive director of Save-a-Pet, said "just getting our name out there is the most important thing."
"Most of the people don’t know about us. ... We’ve done a lot of adoptions through word of mouth so even if you didn’t know about us when you go there, you remember us when you think of pets," Shoepfer said.
JVC Broadcasting (owner of Party 105, WRCN, and other stations) is the primary sponsor of the event and will be providing the music. Many of their stations will also be broadcasting live from Barkfest.
Schoepfer felt that viewing the animals will compel onlookers to adopt. Although there is some amount of paperwork that must be approved beforehand, making on-site adoption difficult, she believed that just seeing the selection they have at the shelter will lead to pets finding new homes.
"They come in and they find the love of their life," Shoepfer said. "The dog goes home happy, the people go home happy, we’re happy. Each time a dog or cat are adopted out it allows us to take another one in. So they’re saving two lives instead of one."
Since Barkfest is free of charge, Save A Pet is also having a Fur Ball on Thursday, Nov. 4 to raise funds.
Get a preview of what to expect by to see a gallery of last year’s event combined with other Halloween activities.