The Westminster Dog Show, despite its British-sounding name, is actually an American tradition — one of our most hoity-toity, strange, and adorable. It began, like most American traditions, as a bar bet. Men would gather over drinks at the Westminster Hotel in Manhattan and compare the prowess of their hunting dogs. This bravado led to the first show in 1877, and not much has changed since then, except now thousands of canines from all over the country compete in front of a stadium audience and no one in their right mind would expect a maltese with a bow on its head to hunt down anything. The Westminster Kennel Club 139th Annual All-Breed Dog Show takes place throughout the day with preliminaries on Piers 92-94, but the real excitement happens tonight at MSG, when the Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting, and Herding Groups compete in front of the judges. These dogs may be some of the world’s most disciplined, but they’re still dogs and therefore inherently goofy, so you never know what cuteness might break out.
Feb. 16-17, 8 p.m., 2015