Furry friends of all shapes, sizes and species are invited to strut their stuff during the first annual “Pets in the Park” pet parade on Saturday, June 22.
Pets in the Park will benefit the ANNA Shelter and the North East Area Chamber of Commerce.
Co-organizers for the event are Lori Ion and Beth Lewis.
“I had seen something like this done in Naples, Florida, and there were hundreds of people there,” Lewis said of her inspiration for Pets in the Park. “It was really a fun environment, and we wanted to bring that to North East.
“We wanted to make this nice for the community and have it be something that people of all ages could participate in,” she added. “This is truly open to anyone.”
The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Gibson Park, with the parade beginning at noon.
“The parade will be around the park,” Ion said. “All types of pets can be entered. We want to see everything from ducks, ponies and all kinds of animals.”
The theme for this year’s parade is “Hollywood movies.”
“Participants are welcome to dress their pets up as characters from their favorite Hollywood movies,” Lewis said. “However, costumes are not mandatory.”
Prizes will be given out to some lucky pets. Prizes will be awarded for most original costumes, best themed costume, judge’s whim and bet pet and owner look-alike.
Registration costs for the parade are $10 if participants pre-register and $15 the day of the event.
“We’re encouraging people to register online ahead of time, but we will have day of registration on June 22,” Lewis said.
Community members can go online to www.nechamber.org/pets-on-the-square to pre-register.
Check-in will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on June 22.
“Sammy Stone from Wolf Radio will be our emcee,” Ion said. “We’ll be doing an interview with Sammy on Friday, June 21, so tune in for that.”
Other requirements for participating pets and owners include the following:
•All pets must be on a leash.
•Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult 18 or older.
•Female pets in heat will not be allowed.
•Pet owners are responsible for all pet waste. Receptacle will be provided.
•Theme costumes for pets and owners are encouraged but not required.
“Dogs need to have their rabies tags on or paperwork showing that they are current on their shots,” Ion added.
In addition to the parade, activities and vendors will be set up throughout the park.
Pets in the Park is sponsored by Serendipity Consignment Boutique, The Skunk & Goat Tavern, North East Animal Hospital, 93.9 The Wolf and Pooch Palace Glam-O-Rama.
“Pooch Palace will also be having an open house that day, so check it out,” Ion said.
“The Skunk & Goat Tavern will be selling lunch, too,” Lewis added. “Everyone can get a hot dog, drink and chips for $5. We’ll also be selling cookies for $1.”
Those looking for a new furry friend should also check out the event.
“The ANNA Shelter will be bringing pets that are looking for their forever homes,” Ion said.
Donations for the ANNA Shelter will also be collected.
“In addition to monetary donations, we are encouraging people to bring donations of old towels and dog and cat food,” Lewis said. “We’ll have a donation drop-off area set up.”
Ion and Lewis said they hope Pets in the Park will become a huge success that’ll draw crowds to North East for years to come.
“We’re really hoping to turn this into a yearly tradition,” Ion said.
“We’d like to see people from everywhere come spend the day in North East and enjoy this fun pet parade,” Lewis added. “We want people from all walks of life to come out for Pets in the Park.”
For more information, or questions, contact the Chamber, 44 W. Main St., at 814-725-4262.