Thanks to COVID-19, fewer Americans said they were planning to celebrate Halloween this year by dressing up, going to a party, trick or treating, handing out candy or visiting a haunted house, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation.
One Halloween activity that did see an uptick in interest despite the pandemic: putting the family pet in a costume.
Boy, do we have the proof.
In this year’s version of the Star Tribune Halloween Pet Costume Contest, we received more than 300 entries, with submissions arriving from coast to coast.
We got pictures of dogs and cats, of course, but also rabbits, reptiles and rodents plus a pig, a sheep, a goat, chickens and a fish, all in costume.
The entries ranged from adorable to goofy to weird, including guinea pigs dressed as lobsters, a snake named Reggie dressed like Indiana Jones and a canine recreation of a Norman Rockwell painting.
Some were inspired by current events, including COVID fighting dog doctors and five different versions of pets dressed as Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Handmade creativity ranged from dogs transformed into Minnesota State Fair Skyride cars to cats disguised as sushi rolls.
Entries that came with bad puns are a category to themselves. There was a picture of a pooch wearing a clock face (a watchdog, of course). And a three-legged dog supporting a camera (a “tripawd,” silly). And a dog at a piano dressed as Beethoven playing — what else? — “Für Elise.”
Our winners were chosen by Star Tribune judges as well as an online people’s choice vote.
You can see all the entries at startribune.com/petcontest2020. Thanks to all who entered. We hope the pets enjoyed dressing up as much as we enjoyed seeing them.
Best in Show
Pet hen Cali (pictured above) is dressed up in celebration of a big event: her first egg. Submitted by Ana and Wally Pietri of Yuba City, Cal.
Noah, Sophia, Lucy, Fitzhugh and Winnie posed for this “Gnome for the Holidays” tableau. Submitted by Julie Kroon of North Mankato.
Guinea pigs Mae and Reeses portray the classic Disney animated characters Beauty and the Beast, submitted by Roman and Corinne Bintner of Eagan.
Mini-pig Mabel becomes the Easter bunny in this submission by Krista Kniefel of Crosslake.
The winner of our online vote is guinea pig Teddy, who modeled a handmade Godzilla costume made by owner Joleen Plekkenpol of Hopkins.
Miniature golden doodles Ruben and Sven are furry ghosts owned by Magnus and Tina Wahlstrom of Minneapolis.
Stephen King’s evil Pennywise clown is portrayed by Apollo, owned by Brian Sardo of Bonita, Cal.
Madison dressed up as the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in this submission by Michealyn Kvasnik of Minneapolis.
Cante and Gigi are Pokémon characters in this submission by Sasha Houston Brown of Minneapolis.
Cinnamon and Sammy will do practically anything for a Snausages treat, including dressing as Paul Bunyan and Babe the blue ox, according to Ruth Reilly of Maple Grove.
“Draw me like one of your French girls,” says Max, a pit bull terrier, in this submission inspired by the “Titanic” movie by Ashley Beaulieu of St. Louis Park.
A snake named Reggie dons a fedora in this homage to Indiana Jones submitted by Meagan Keefe of South St. Paul.
Dr. Louie, COVID fighter, says “Wear your masks, people!” in this photo sent to us by Sue and Jay Jensen of Minnetonka.
Sprocket and Ratchet are fighter jocks Maverick and Goose in this recreation of the “Top Gun” movie sent to us by Jenn Gren of Upton, Mass.
Walter, the mascot of Knotty Oar Marina of Prior Lake, is taking every pandemic precaution in this photo sent to us by Dakin Tande of Prior Lake.
Thanks to everyone who participated. See you next year!