I live in a small town. My parents lived in the same small town. Now my children live in the same small town and they are small town, just like me (apologies to John Mellencamp!) One thing I love about small towns is their traditions. The tradition of the Pet N Pup Parade in my small town has been around for more years than I can track down. I remember attending the parade when I was young and I think I remember my mother telling me she remembered the parade, too. The premise is simple - dress up your pup or pet (and yourself) and march in the parade down Main Street.
Attendance was down a few years ago. The parade had always been held in the Spring and Spring in Ohio can mean very cold weather, wind and rain. Not much fun for children and pets. Someone had a bright idea - let's move the parade to Autumn and - since it is closer to Halloween - maybe people will be more willing to find costumes for the pets and kids! It worked! Participation is at an all time high! The parade is the kick off for the day long activities - The New Autumn Leaves Festival!
How cute are the bride, bridesmaid and tiny groom?
It's Alice in Wonderland, a Cowgirl and a family of Bees all in one photo! It was a lovely sunny fall day to show off the kids and the pets!
Last Year's King and Queen of the Parade. Each year, since time began, one boy and one girl are selected as the Pet N Pup King and Queen. they wear the large crowns and velvet cloaks and ride in convertibles in all area parades. It is quite an honor! AND both win a bicycle. I can remember drooling over the Schwinn, showcased in a store window when I was a kid. Still First Prize - one girl's bike and one boy's bike!
Do you see the Lego blocks on the far side of the street? That is a friend's daughter and her little Lego children. The red Lego won the boy's bicycle!
Dog and Daughter in Hula Skirts. Don't you love all the dads and moms in the parade? It is a real family affair!
You can't have an event without a controversy! The original winner of the boy's bicycle was the adorable Charlie Brown walking beside his sister pulling the adorable Woodstock in the wagon. But when "Charlie" got on stage - he was a she! And Princess Leia had already won the girl's bike! Next year entrants will have to be color coded pink and blue!
This entry (you can barely see past the newspaper's photographer) was my favorite. Hopefully you can spot the little police office leading his convict pony! Yes, the ponies were the end of the parade (I think we all know why!). It is such a fun event and I am so glad that I was able to introduce all four of my grandchildren to the parade for the first time.