BRADENTON -- Halloween festivities continued Saturday morning as dozens of dogs got a chance to strut their costumes down Old Main Street in downtown Bradenton.
About eight dogs participated in Howl'ween costume parade in at the Bradenton Farmer's market. Stealing the show and walking away with best costume overall were the patriotic duo portraying Uncle Sam and Betsy Ross. Linda Mayberry and her dog, Gracie, garnered a lot of attention.
"She loves the people and the other dogs; she doesn't mind the costume," Mayberry said. "She absolutely doesn't know it's on, she is so enthralled with the people and the other dogs."
Mayberry came across the Uncle Sam costume at a yard sale one day and then made the matching Betsy Johnson for Gracie, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
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Dressing up is not new for Mayberry and Gracie, who she adopted as a puppy about four years ago.
"We do every year, this is our fourth year of dressing up together," Mayberry said. "She was Nemolast year and I was a mermaid."
The event was put on by Realize Bradenton with the assistance of community partners. Winners were named in four categories: most scary; most creative; most funny; and best costume overall.
"It was a lot of fun, lots of good humor," judge Any Van Dell, executive director of the Humane Society of Manatee County. "It's a nice way for people to know that the farmer's market is pet friendly."
Joan Gould and her dog, Jesse, took time away from selling jewelry to participate in the costume parade. Jesse however didn't complete the parade route.
"He's always here so he knows his route," Gould said. "So he made to the end but then he turned and came back."
The 7-year-old poodle had lots of fun, she sdaid, despite not winning. Dressed as a pirate, he enjoyed the socializing, she said.
"He loves people and he loves dogs, especially the bigger they are," Gould said. "He's a dog-watcher ... kind of like a people watcher."
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter@JDeLeon1012.