Parade of Pets brings four legged friends to Downtown Topeka

Matt Boland

Downtown Topeka went to the dogs this Labor Day weekend.

The historic downtown district hosted the Parade of Pets where Topekans were invited to show off their four-legged friends.

Topeka residents and their pets gathered in the downtown district to partake in pet themed activities and shopping. Many local shops provided products or activities catered directly toward pets and their owners.

Bark Avenue Grooming provided $8 nail trimming, as well as free pet stenciling, where pets could get designs airbrushed onto their fur.

Wolfe’s Camera set up a photo booth were owners and their pets could get their picture taken. The store also sold pet themed mugs.

Local restaurants also got in on the action: Lupita’s Mexican Restaurant had a special for $1 tacos, and HHB BBQ cooked up delicious ribs.

“[Willow’s] favorite part was getting in the fountain,” said Christine Daniel. “She was in there for quite a while and I couldn’t get her out. My favorite part was the dog paintings. It’s totally fun and it’s waterproof, too.”

The event provided a wonderful atmosphere for people who wanted to enjoy the event as bystanders. Two live bands served as a wonderful backdrop to the night’s activities, engrossing downtown with renditions of classic songs by the likes of Bob Dylan and the Doobie Brothers.

“The best part of the event was being able to be with my friends and being surrounded by so many dogs,” said Wren Graves.

The parade started at 6:30 p.m. All participants lined up with their pets on the sidewalk outside of Wolfe’s Camera on Kansas Avenue. The procession of more than 50 animals made its way down the block while bystanders looked on with excitement.

The end of the parade concluded with an award ceremony. Awards including shortest and tallest dog, along with an award for the dog who looked most like their owner were given out.