As Halloween fast approaches, there are plenty of events popping up that cater to kids and adults, alike. Fortunately, Halloween also includes the most important peeps in our lives, too – our pets. There are two upcoming events that are simply “can’t miss,” even if you don’t own a pet of your own.

The Venerable Yappy Howl-O-Ween – Thursday, Oct 24th,

Yappy Halloween has costumed dogs crawling out of the woodwork. Photo credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

For years now, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel has catered to dogs and the owners they choose to bring along at their monthly “Yappy Hour.” In October, though, it’s an all-out blitz with hundreds of dogs showing up to strut their inventive costumes in the annual Howl-O-Ween Parade & Contest. (Participation is $10 per dog.)

While a panel of judges chooses the various prize winners, dogs consort with their buddies, catch up on the latest news over flavored cocktails (beef, chicken, vegan and bacon-flavored water), and go from vendor to vendor to collect on their own version of Halloween candy. (As more vendors attend this event, I find it extremely helpful for early holiday shopping in behalf of my various dog and cat nieces and nephews.)

At the same time, humans enjoy human cash bar cocktails and tasty bites and barbecue provided by the resort. All proceeds collected for the contest and happy hour go toward the Veterans Initiative of Canine Companions for Independence,  a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly-trained assistance dogs and ongoing support.

The Rowdy Newcomer: Woofstock – Sunday, Oct. 20th, noon – 4:00 p.m.

Here’s your chance to try your pet’s costume a few days before the Yappy Howl-O-Ween parade and enjoy an entire afternoon of family fun at the same time.

Do up your dog in his or her Halloween costume and head on down to the grass area (of course) at Doheny Beach for WOOFSTOCK. Entry is free but bring cash for the food and drink. This new event is presented by The San Onofre Parks Foundation in partnership with California State Parks, and all proceeds benefit the SOPF.

Many dog organizations and vendors will be available with amazing dog toys and treats, including PricelessPetRescue.org with adoptable pets.

While pets participate in a parade and costume contest at Woofstock, humans can enjoy live music, doggie demos, a Beer & Wine Garden (sponsored by Artifex and 14 Hands Winery), Wienerschnitzel hot dogs (of course) as well as other food vendors, raffles, giveaways and more.

More Human-Related Halloween Events to Come!

As Halloween becomes more popular, there are a number of fun events cropping up in the weeks ahead. I’m scrambling to get them all loaded in my TheBestofLagunaBeach calendar, but feel free to send me any Halloween-related events for free inclusion, and I’ll be doing a follow-up column with my “best of” picks.