Tuesday: Choosing a dearly departed celeb for a Halloween costume is all the rage this year as spook shops report Michael Jackson getups and high-waisted Patrick Swayze pants flying off the shelves. In light of that trend, we’re predicting that a lot of pups will be sporting sombreros in honor of Taco Bell’s former spokesChihuahua, Gidget, who passed away this summer at age 15. Find out for sure at Spooktacular Canine Happy Hour and Costume Contest on Tommy Joe’s Restaurant’s outdoor patio Tuesday. Prizes, a raffle, drink specials and dog treats will have tails wagging. Admission is $10 cash at the door, and 100 percent of proceeds go to the Washington Animal Rescue League. Event starts at 6:30, contest at 7:30.
Thursday: Hotel Monaco Alexandria is rolling out the red newspapers for its Howloween Costume Contest. The dog-friendly hotel (480 King St., Alexandria;703-549-6080) is known for its weekly doggie happy hours but will take it a step further with a costume contest featuring free dog treats and water bowls for contestants and Halloween treats and cocktails for two-legged guests, who are encouraged to dress up as well. Judges including William D. Euille, mayor of Alexandria and Tina Leone, president and CEO of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, will be on hand to award prizes for most glamorous getup, best dressed couple, and the “top dog” grand-prize winner, who’ll receive a Pampered Pooch Spa Package and overnight accommodations at 70 Park Avenue Hotel in New York City.
Friday: Drink in Halloween Eve with another evening of canines and cocktails at the Dog Shop’s Halloween Howl Hour Friday (1625 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-337-3647). Proceeds from rinks and snacks for people and a costume contest and snacks for pooches will benefit Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. Advance admission is $20, $25 day of the event. The costume contest’s top dog will win a $200 gift card. Party starts at 6.
Saturday: Halloween itself brings several wagtastic events such as Chateau-Animaux’s Canine Costume Party in Capitol Hill’s Lincoln Park (12th and E. Capitol Streets, SE), with five costume categories including funniest, scariest, and best in show up for grabs. Event starts at 2, and there’s no entry fee. Contestants will receive a free treat bag.
Paws, Purrs & Exotics Animal Hospital (133 S. Peyton St., Alexandria; 703-549-7297) will host its own Howl-o-ween from 1 to 4. All guests canine, feline or human are asked to dress in costume, and games and activities for children and animals are on the agenda. The event benefits Tails High, a cat rescue and adoption organization, and cat adoption will be available at the event as well as free Halloween candy and drinks. $5 suggested donation at the door.
Fido can get a running start to his new favorite play place when Cabin John Regional Park (10900 Westlake Dr., Bethesda) officially opens its new dog park with a Halloween-themed celebration. Admission is free, and the grand opening party starts at 9 AM.
Games, prizes, a bake sale, vendors, and contests are just a few of the activities planned for Fidos for Freedom’s Fall Stroll ’n Roll at Centennial Park (10000 State Route 108, Ellicott City; 301-490-4005) Proceeds go toward the Fidos’ assistance-dog and therapy-dog training organization. Registration starts at 8 AM, and the walk starts at 9.