Happy Howl-o-ween: Pinecrest’s Festival for Furry Friends


Isabella Hewitt

Miami pup dressed up as a bat for halloween.

Kate Markus

Howl-O-Ween, a family event hosted at Pinecrest Gardens, presents a variety of activities featuring dogs and their owners. On Saturday, Oct. 30, escapades ranging from a dog costume contest to tricks and treats to a Doggie Fun Zone Agility course will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

One of the more popular events, the Doggy Fun Zone Agility course, features a track where dogs chase a fake mouse through the course.

A well-liked activity highlighted during Howl-O-Ween is the costume contest, during which pet owners dress up their animals to compete before a panel of judges. In order to participate, owners must be vaccinated from COVID-19. Pets will be judged on costume and behavior for creativity, humor, character, charisma and uniqueness. The winner, announced right after the competition ends, is featured on the Pinecrest Gardens website.

“Our costume contests are really exciting, [and] we already have people signing up for it,” Founder and Executive Director of PAWS4you Rescue Carol Caridad said.  

Along with the festivities, Howl-O-Ween also features food, drinks and live entertainment.

“There’s food vendors, there’s doggy boutique vendors, there’s all sorts of things. There’s a kid zone for the kids to decorate and do some halloween activities,” Caridad said.

For those interested in taking a dog home, there will be adoptable dogs for a portion of the time from PAWS4You, a non-profit Miami rescue.

“For 11 years we have been going to Pinecrest Gardens; they are a great partner of ours, and we have built it from a couple hundred people pre-COVID” Caridad said. “One year we had over 2,000 attendees and over 60 dogs.”

With an estimated 500 to 1,000 people going, COVID-19 precautions remain in place during the event. 

“Masks are required if you are on the inside of Pinecrest Gardens, and [they] are optional but recommended outside,” Caridad said.

Tickets, available on EventBrite, cost $8 a person online and $10 at the gate. Children under two and Pinecrest Gardens members may enter free. For those interested in the Pet Costume Contest, it is an additional $12 to participate and a $10 donation for each dog entered in the competition.