Saturday April 17th marked the 61st anniversary of the Kiwanis Pet Parade. My first recollection of the pet parade was back when I was at Oak elementary school. I was in third grade and remember watching some of my friends walking their pets in the downtown Los Altos parade. I still remember wanting to walk in the parade, but our family didn’t have any pets because we all had pet allergies.
Thanks to one of our neighbor’s dogs having puppies (and allergy pills), I finally got my big chance to walk in the parade. Patches (the mutt) and I got to walk in our first pet parade in 1978. In 1991, with stroller in one hand and Sugar (lab mix) in the other, we started a new tradition of having a dog and a child in the same parade. Over the years, I have attended over 25 pet parades and participated in over 15. This year I walked with my 10 year old daughter, my wife and our 1.5 year old yellow lab as part of the Springer elementary school contingent.
Over the years, the parade has grown tremendously both in size and the variety of animals on display. Thousands of participants and spectators come to see a huge variety of animals. In any given year, I’ve seen dogs, cats, bunnies, horses, goats, lizards, turtles, fish, tarantulas, birds, and snakes.
Some animals (and their owners) dress up for the parade. Dachshunds dress up in their customary bun, ketchup and mustard outfits. Most of the animals and/or their owners wear the Kiwanis pet parade participant ribbon. We’re seeing more animal rescue groups walking with the rescued dogs and their new families. This year my daughter was particularly interested in the huge Burmese Python. Funny, you couldn’t get my wife within ten feet of it.
It tough to determine who has more fun, the participants or the crowd. I enjoy both. Below our some photos of this year’s Kawanis pet parade (Click on photo to enlarge). See you next year!
Ye Old Towne Band Dachshunds Greyhounds
Burmese Python Lizard
Springer Contingent Dog & Pony Show? Always ends w/horses