Rockaway Beach will host its inaugural puppy parade this Saturday, May 14, along the boardwalk from Beach 108th Street to Beach 92nd Street beginning at noon.
The family-friendly event will be hosted by The Pet Lady, Dana Humphrey, who began organizing the event over the winter hoping to change the politically charged narrative on the peninsula.
“In a world and a neighborhood that is so divided, red versus blue, black versus white, vaccine versus anti-vax, I wanted to create an opportunity for neighbors to get together for something fun and non-charged,” Humphrey said.
The pet industry professional for the past 15 years, who used to teach in the Pet Marketing Program at the Fashion Institute of Technology met with Hot Yoga Rockaway Beach owner Christine Walker and Florence Chong, who opened Pawlacio Pets, a new doggie daycare on Beach 115th Street. Over a few pints at the Rockaway Brewery, they hatched plans for the pet parade.
“I thought it would be fun to celebrate the new location of Pawlacio Pets coming to the peninsula with a dog party,” Humphrey said. “We applied for a permit with the Parks Department, so now on a nice May day, get your dog, dress them up, or not, and be outside with other humans who love their dogs.”
Dogs are recommended to arrive with their humans starting at 11 a.m. at Beach 108th Street and the boardwalk in the grass by the hockey rink to get checked in and receive their parade number.
After the parade ends at Beach 92nd Street, gift certificates will be awarded in several categories including Overall Best Dressed, Most Energetic Dog, Best Trick/Most Obedient Dog, Funniest Dog and Best Matching. Judges will be Enchantress Shane and her dog Cooper, Claire Van Winkle and her cat PHU, and Jerry Rae, who will be judging in the spirit of his dogs Demi and Patches, who have recently passed away.
Complimentary water and food bowls will be available and vendors will be offering additional treats, including The Paper Cup – Ice Cream for Dogs, Dog Gone Green CBD, Shellgame Jewelry and Chuck and Buddhas Dog Walking.
“This family-friendly event welcomes everyone,” Humphrey said. “If you love dogs but don’t have one, you’re invited to come and watch the parade and cheer on your favorite pups for free. Let’s be together in unison, instead of separation.”
A $5 entry fee will go to benefit the charity partner Yorkie 911 Rescue. For more information on the Rockaway Pups on Parade, visit here. In the event of rain, the parade would be held Sunday, May 15, at noon.