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There’s the election, the economy, the pandemic, and, last but not least, winter.

Don’t you think we need a Star Tribune Halloween Pet Costume Contest? Even in a nation riven with political differences, we can all get a laugh seeing a cat dressed up as Abraham Lincoln or a Great Pyrenees costumed as the “Dog-wager Countess of Grantham.”

And if social distancing means no trick-or-treating, haunted houses or Halloween parties this year, what else do you have to do but sew a mermaid costume for your guinea pig?

As in past years, we’re hoping to see costumes that range from scary to Minnesota-themed to inspired by pop culture and current events.

You can enter multiple pets, multiple costumes and send multiple photos — as long as it’s your pet wearing the costume and your photograph. (For best results, try shooting your costumed pet with a neutral background. No Photoshopping.)

Our panel of judges will award prizes for first, second and third place, plus best in show. There will also be a people’s choice award for the top vote-getter in online public voting.

By entering a photograph, you give the Star Tribune the right to publish it on any of our platforms in perpetuity.

Here’s how to enter:

Upload your best images at startribune.com/petcontest2020 by midnight Oct. 21.

Be sure to include contact information and feel free to add comments on the costume concept, creative challenges and willingness of your pet to be a model.

Voting on the people’s choice winner will run Oct. 22-25.

Photos of the winning entries will be published in the Star Tribune on Oct. 31.

Need some inspiration? Find the 2019 contest winner and finalists here.