Howl-o-ween to include dog pageant, more on Oct. 6 at West Park


Emily Dexter

Jayana Hammonds, CMYC event chair and junior, addresses her fellow council members during a meeting. Hammonds said, “We can really expand on the Mr. Carmel or Mrs. Carmel aspect (of Howl-o-ween). We’re making the ‘Dog of Carmel’ be the new biggest thing, because a lot of people take pride in their animals.”

Emily Dexter

Last year, Carmel Mayor’s Youth Council (CMYC) hosted a dog-themed event called Bow Wow Bash. This year, on Oct. 6 at West Park, the event is set to take on a new life as Howl-o-ween. According to Eshan Selvan, event chair and junior, Howl-o-ween will feature a dog pageant, canine trick-or-treating, costume contests and dog-themed vendors from the Carmel community.

Jayana Hammonds, event chair and junior, said the event’s Halloween focus represents a complete change from last year.

“Just even in the title, Bow Wow Bash was kind of a summer, end-of-August, early-September event, and the theme was like, it’s really warm outside; it’s very fun. It didn’t really have a central theme, (except for) summer,” Hammonds said. “(The new theme) gives it a different feel to the event as far as people coming and dressing up. (It’s) kind of having a trick and treat for dogs.”

Both Selvan and Hammonds said they expect Howl-o-ween to have a higher turnout than last year’s Bow Wow Bash.

“Last year it was an awesome event,” Selvan said, “but we feel there were a couple flaws that we’re really trying to improve this year, (such as) how organized it is, how much planning we have for the event, that sort of stuff.”

CMYC adviser Kelli Prader said she also hopes for high attendance, and is excited for the event to take shape.

“This is a student-led project, and (the council members are) working with city-of-Carmel department heads to put something together and make this a big, grand thing,” Prader said. “It really is community. It’s part of the youth community; it’s part of the city-of-Carmel community. They’re just doing an amazing job.”

Hammonds said, “It’s a really good event for people in the city to enjoy, and it’s different. It’s not like the typical carnival or tailgate that you usually have from school organizations. It’s not often that you see a dog-centered event.”

Emily Dexter
From left to right, Carmel Mayor’s Youth Council (CMYC) members junior Eshan Selvan, senior Audrey Satchivi, senior Mayil Bhat and senior Shubhi Sinha gather around Selvan’s laptop during a meeting. Selvan said that he and Jayana Hammonds, his fellow event chair and junior, are combining their areas of expertise to improve Howl-o-ween.