The Friends of Carbondale Dog Parks brings its first ever Howl-O-Ween to Carbondale 


The Friends of Carbondale Dog Parks hosted its very first Howl-O-Ween on October 29 at Murdale Shopping Center. People were able to participate in various activities from taking photos with their dogs to having their dogs make artwork.

Nancy Cottom, the President of the Friends of Carbondale Dog Parks, said this was the first time the Dog Park has put on this event, and its main goal was to make sure people enjoyed themselves. 

Dogs showed up in various colorful costumes like hot dogs, superheroes and witches.


“That’s always a lot of fun to see dogs dressed up and that kind of thing. […] It’s always good for the merchants and Murdale to have more exposure and more traffic,” she said.

This event brought not only dog lovers but other people in the Carbondale community as well, Cottom said. 

Activities included a guess the number of milk bones in the jar and a Paw Caso Paw painting area. 

“If you have a dog create, we’re going to walk through some paint and then walk across a piece of paper and it will look like a Picaso so we help by calling Paw Caso,” she said.

Bouncy castles, rock climbing walls and hayrides were also present for guests of all ages to enjoy. 

Barb Allen, a volunteer for the Friends of Carbondale Dog Parks and a judge for the costume contest, said having events such as Howl-O-Ween is a great way to get people involved.

“Well, everybody’s got a smile on their face. The kids are having a blast. The dogs are getting along. It’s a beautiful day and fall is here. Thank goodness, and just the camaraderie of the community,” Allen said.


Before the contest, a short parade was put on with dogs who signed up for the costume contest.

Tina Carpenter, the CEO of the Boys and Girls Club, said her organization is a part of Carbondale Safe Halloween, which hosts many family friendly activities all throughout the Halloween season.

She said, in the past, Halloween in Carbondale was not as focused on other people outside of the Southern Illinois University (SIU) community.

“I think it’s absolutely wonderful. I remember moving here back in the late 80s and how Halloween really was more about the college students,” Carpenter said. “Whereas Safe Halloween and all the events this weekend was about bringing people together and community family and just having fun.”

The costume contest had different categories; they were scariest, cutest, best duo and funniest.

Gustav, a dachshund who was dressed as a hot dog, won the funniest category. For best duo costume, the winners were Amanda Ashby and her dog Captain Hook; they were dressed as Peter Pan and Captain Hook. The scariest costume winners were pugs Wilbur and Ringo as Chewbarka and R2-Pee2. The cutest category winner was a Chihuahua, Eleanor, dressed up as a witch.

Staff reporter Janiyah Gaston can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @DEJaniyah. To stay up to date with all your Southern Illinois News follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter

Editor’s Note: The article has been updated to reflect the correct title of the Friends of Carbondale Dog Parks.