April 1, 2017 Every spring for the past nine years, residents of this small riverside community (where boats outnumber people three-to-one) take the opportunity to exercise their creativity, sense of fun and love of all things canine by participating in this much-anticipated family event.
Dogs garbed as everything from astronauts to tiny dragons (and one year even a three-legged dog impersonating a grand piano) all parade with their often-costumed owners before an impromptu reviewing stand where a local raconteur describes each duo. Citizen judges (even a bribable judge) score the entrants, but dogs are not required to wear costumes to join in the fun.
The Oriental Community Band plays marching music as the dogs are paraded along the riverfront in Lou Mac Park, then around the block. All reassemble at the park where humorous categories are announced, photos taken and awards presented.
The Pamlico Animal Welfare Society, whose motto is “Helping the Helpless,” hosts the parade to raise money for its spay and neuter, pet food pantry and New Leash on Life dog-training programs. The New Leash program rescues six shelter dogs every eight weeks, and inmates at the Pamlico Correctional Institution in Bayboro train them to be well-mannered family pets. The dogs then graduate and go home with their new, adoptive families.
Parade registration is at 9 am, the parade begins at 10 am, and hot dogs and drinks are available. Each parade is unique, and this memorable event should not be missed.
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