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Breakfast, or Pooch Parade?

The idea for the Spooky Pooch Parade came from a choice between an event featuring high-end breakfasts or animals, said Shannon Strachan of LakewoodAlive.

To many Lakewood residents, the idea of hundreds of people dressing their dogs like pumpkins or pirates and marching through the streets of downtown seems normal, now that it’s happened for three consecutive years.

But how did the come to be?

Well, LakewoodAlive Marketing and Development Director Shannon Strachan said this Saturday's event was born out of a meeting four years ago between the group’s Main Street Promotions Committee and national Main Street representatives to develop a downtown event that would spur economic development and highlight the city’s characteristics.

She said they had it narrowed to two options.

“They told us events that do the best are anything involving high-end breakfasts or animals,” Strachan said.

The decision was an easy one. Lakewood has 185 miles of sidewalk, an off-leash and several dog-friendly businesses. Dogster, an online resource for dog owners, has called Lakewood “as dog-friendly as they come!”

“There’s an aspect in every part of our lives [in Lakewood] for dogs to be incorporated,” Strachan said. “We thought ‘Maybe we ought to have some kind of pet parade.’”

The committee began studying what other communities were doing, and came across a Halloween-themed dog parade in California, she said.

“We knew that would do well in Lakewood,” she said.

But would it catch on?

“Everyone jumped right on board,” Strachan said. “The city was very supportive from the get-go, and the committee members were excited to move forward.”

About 125 dogs attended the inaugural Spooky Pooch Parade in October, 2008. The next year, Strachan said about 225 dogs marched through downtown. So far this year, about 100 dogs have been registered, which Strachan said is “way ahead” of last year at this point

And it’s a good thing. This year’s parade hopes to make it one for the record books. The current Guinness World Record for most costumed dogs in a parade was set July 27 at a San Diego Padre’s baseball game, where 337 dogs were dressed in their All-Hallow’s Eve best.

“I think we’ll get there, if it stays dry,” she said.

The forecast is calling for showers with a high of 57, but will begin at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, and the parade steps off at the corner of Detroit and St. Charles avenues at 2:00 p.m., rain or shine.

Maybe if it rains, the committee will go back to Plan B – Spooky Poached Eggs Brunch.

Peter Grossetti October 12, 2011 at 03:37 PM
"... called Lakewood “as dog-friendly as they come!”" ... unless, of course, if your dog is "predominately not of one breed" (pitt bull-type) LCO 506.03 PIT BULL DOGS OR CANARY DOGS. (a) All pit bull dogs and canary dogs (Perro de PresaCanario) are deemed to be dangerous animals even in the absence of a hearing by the Director of Public Safety or his or her designee. (b) As used in this section, “pit bull dog” means any Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier or American Staffordshire Terrier breed of dog, any dog of mixed breed which has the appearance and characteristics of being predominantly of such breeds, any dog commonly known as a pit bull, pit bull dog or pit bull terrier; or a combination of any of these breeds.
Sandy Smith October 12, 2011 at 04:17 PM
Any city that bans a breed of dog is not dog friendly. Any city that passes laws that are fundamentally unconstitutional does not care about the rights of its citizens. I hope that voters in Lakewood wake up and elect new city officials who care about their safety and financial security at the earliest possible opportunity, because many of the folks in office now do not seem bothered by the fact that they support an expensive, unconstitutional law.
Sandy Smith October 12, 2011 at 05:12 PM
I wish the author of this article had made it clear that Spooky Pooch is a FUNDRAISER for the city of Lakewood and that $1,000 of the proceeds go to the city's KILL shelter. A no-kill rescue in the city has to PAY for a booth. Also, if you have a dog with a square head that could be classified as a boxer, labrador retriever, hound, bulldog or pit bull mix, you might be asked to leave and take your "pit bull type dog" with you.
Katie October 12, 2011 at 10:23 PM
I wish my dog would come but he would get taken away and most likely killed because he's a Pit Bull. You are not "friendly as they come", you are "friendly as they come but no "Pit Bulls" allowed." This is place is and never will be dog friendly unless they remove the bull sh!t ban.

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