There’s the election, the economy, the pandemic, and, last but not least, winter.

Don’t you think we need a Star Tribune Halloween Pet Costume Contest? Even in a nation riven with political differences, we can all get a laugh seeing a cat dressed up as Abraham Lincoln or a Great Pyrenees costumed as the “Dog-wager Countess of Grantham.”

And if social distancing means no trick-or-treating, haunted houses or Halloween parties this year, what else do you have to do but sew a mermaid costume for your guinea pig?

As in past years, we’re hoping to see costumes that range from scary to Minnesota-themed to inspired by pop culture and current events.

You can enter multiple pets, multiple costumes and send multiple photos — as long as it’s your pet wearing the costume and your photograph. (For best results, try shooting your costumed pet with a neutral background. No Photoshopping.)

Our panel of judges will award prizes for first, second and third place, plus best in show. There will also be a people’s choice award for the top vote-getter in online public voting.

By entering a photograph, you give the Star Tribune the right to publish it on any of our platforms in perpetuity.

Here’s how to enter:

Upload your best images at by midnight Oct. 21.

Be sure to include contact information and feel free to add comments on the costume concept, creative challenges and willingness of your pet to be a model.

Voting on the people’s choice winner will run Oct. 22-25.

Photos of the winning entries will be published in the Star Tribune on Oct. 31.

Need some inspiration? Find the 2019 contest winner and finalists here.