October 24, By Tara Law
This weekend, Forest Hills residents will begin celebrating Halloween with events for dogs and humans alike.
The Underbridge Underdogs, a community group dedicated to the dog run at Underbridge Park, will hold its annual Howl-O-Ween party on Saturday starting at 1 p.m.
The Halloween event is part of the group’s efforts to raise funds to improve the dog run—located by 64th Avenue and Grand Central Parkway–and to form an official non-profit.
Prizes will be awarded for the scariest and funniest dog costumes, as well as for the most original human and dog costumes. Winners will receive doggie treats, totes, gift cards, t-shirts and other prizes. A representative from the American Kennel Club will be present to offer advice on training dogs.
The group suggests a $5 donation from participants.
Underbridge Underdogs member Hersha Diaz said the group is trying to upgrade the space that she says has fallen into disrepair.
Diaz said that the group was recently awarded a capital grant from the city that will be used to install new gates and fences around the dog run next year.
The group intends to organize as a nonprofit so that it is in a better position to apply for grants. It also aims to add new features to the run such as dog obstacles, a slide and a mound the dogs can climb.
Diaz said that she frequents the dog run with her poodle-cocker spaniel mix, Roscoe Pico.
“It’s great for the dogs to get to meet each other, and to get some exercise,” Diaz said. “It’s great for humans to meet each other too.”
This Saturday, there will also be a Halloween Health & Wellness Fair that goes from 10 a.m. to 3 pm at H&L Counseling, which is located at 115-10 Queens Boulevard. The organization hosts various wellness events for the community throughout the year.
The event will also feature giveaways, free haircuts, vendors and face painting for children, and raffles.
Various experts on health and wellness will also be available to speak to the community, including personal trainers, beauty experts, stress management experts and spiritual leaders.
Representatives from the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, the Administration for Children’s Services, the FDNY, the Alzheimer’s Association and health insurance companies will also be on hand.
Attendees are encouraged to wear costumes.