Pet Parade slated for Saturday

Amy will be just one of the dogs who will be all decked out in her St. Paddy's Day finery for the pet parade Saturday at 10:30 p.m. at Sally Kate Winters Park.
Staff Writer

In celebration of St. Patrick's Day, the Growth Alliance, West Side Veterinary Clinic, Emerson Animal Hospital and West Point Animal Clinic are hosting a pet parade, at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 17, at Sally Kate Winters Park. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. there is a $5 fee to join the fun.

"I was thinking about St. Patrick's Day and considering going to New Orleans since it fell on a Saturday, to watch the parade," Lisa Klutts, director of the Growth Alliance, said. " So I decided to stay here in West Point and have something for the people who stayed in town during Spring Break."

Klutts had been brainstorming with members of the Main Street Association, and Deborah Mansfield was talking about doing pet portraits as a fundraiser. She said a pet parade seemed like a great idea for St. Patrick's Day and 2018, being the Year of the Dog.

"It all just fell into place," Klutts said. "I put the idea out on Facebook and all the feedback was positive. So we are having our inaugural St. Patrick's Day Pet Parade, Saturday. Registration will be at the gazebo in Sally Kate Winters Park."

Klutts said she has been helped by Shannon Greenan, who is her assistant with the planning involved for the event.

"We don't want anyone to feel left out who wants to be in the parade," Klutts said. "We want to encourage people who don't have a pet, to decorate a bicycle and dress up a stuffed animal and join in the fun."

There are a few rules to help keep the parade safe and fun for everyone:

- All pets must be on a leash at all times.

- No aggressive animals. Pets should be sociable with other pets, adults and children. If participants, be they human or animal, display negative behavior, they will be asked to leave the event.

- Attendees under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

- Pets must be current on all vaccinations and in good health.

- No motorized vehicles (scooters or hover boards).

- Strollers, bikes and wagons are welcome.

- Please pick up after your pet, in the park and along the parade route. Disposable bags will be available.

The parade route is approximately one mile. From Sally Kate Winters Park to the walking trail, to Travis Street, to Court Street, to Westbrook Street, back to the walking trail and back to SKW Park.

"We hope people who live in the neighborhoods will come out to the street to watch the parade," Klutts said. "If you don't have a pet or a bicycle, you can still enjoy watching the parade and cheering for the pets."

Klutts said there is a dog park in the discussion stage. That is where the proceeds will be earmarked to go.

"If not a dog park," Klutts said. "Then at least a water fountain for people and their pats at the bottom. We all know how hot it gets in the summer. Pets need a way to get water while being walked."
Klutts wants to see everyone at the fun, hometown event that includes pets, Saturday morning.

"Put on your Irish green and bring your dressed up pets to celebrate St. Paddy's Day," Klutts said.

For more information call 494-5121.