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Larchmont Pet Parade a Howling Success!

by Betty Comerford, photos by Judy Silberstein

Pet Group(May 3, 2003) The First Annual Larchmont Pet Parade and Show, held Saturday, May 3, was a howling success. Led by Grand Marshall, Nick Langone, over 100 pets paraded down Larchmont Avenue to Constitution Park. One turtle, two fish, one bunny, three hamsters, one guinea pig and two cats were followed by 96 dogs.

The registration tables at Fountain Square, staffed by the Girl Scouts from Troop 2525, processed 106 registrations, some for pets as far away as Stamford. Almost 25% of the registration forms were downloaded from the Larchmont Gazette, which helped speed the process. From 2:45 pm on, there was a steady stream of pets converging on the park from all directions. Pet owners young and old eagerly awaited the start of the parade and fixed the Red White and Blue Pet Bandanas on their pets. A community within a community was formed as many pets as well as owners met for the first time. Amazingly without incident, by 3:15 pm Fred Daum had the parade underway with the assistance of Larchmont’s Bicycle Police.

The parade proceeded from Fountain Square down Linden to Larchmont Avenue. Along the route many waved in support, several cars stopped to watch, and some drivers even got out and joined the fun. In al,l over 300 people participated.

At Constitution Park, the Grand Marshall and Official Judge greeted, kissed (except the turtle and fish) and awarded certificates to all pets. In the park, pets and owners mingled and enjoyed the beautiful day with new found friends. Golden Retriever was the most popular breed followed by black labs and then mixed breeds. Weighing in at 150 pounds, Hundie, a Leonberger was the largest registered pet, and the smallest were the Goldfish, Blue Eyes and Goldie. From Abby to Zoe, pet’s names started with every letter of the alphabet except V and Y, with six named Maggie, four named Daisy and three named Zoe.

Over $1,400 was raised, which will go to local pet organizations: The New Rochelle Humane Society; Pet Rescue; and the Westchester Humane Society. In addition to the registration fees, proceeds were raised through the sale of hand sewed catnip toys and homemade dog biscuits donated by the Girl Scouts, homemade cookies, fresh squeezed lemonade, ice cream donated by Longford’s and bags of treats donated by Sweet’n Nutty. Other activities included calligraphy certificate completion and photo key chains of pets with their owners. In addition, information tables were set up by volunteers from The New Rochelle Humane Society and Pet Rescue. The Humane Society brought Foxy, a mixed breed, and Pet Rescue brought two kittens, all available for adoption.

Parade organizers Betty Comerford, Michelle Daum, Penny Langone, Pat Melrose and Melanie Rush were grateful to all who made the event possible: Larchmont Mayor Ken Bialo and the Village Board of Trustees for their support and approval; Police Chief Rubeo and his Officers for help with traffic; Joe Bedard and his DPW team who helped set up and cleaned up tables and barricades; Manor Park Society for help in use of Fountain Square; Girl Scout Troop 2525 who donated the pet bandanas and helped with registration; Longford’s Ice Cream and Sweet ‘n Nutty for their donations; Larchmont Press who printed the posters and certificates; other local volunteers who helped run the event, and of course all the pets, owners, friends and relatives. (See: Pet Parade for origins and history.)

All pet owners and pet lovers had a great time and truly made local history. Plans are already underway for the Second Annual Larchmont Pet Parade and Show in May 2004.


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