“Where do the dogs go for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade? New Yorkie.”
“Why do pups parade in Northeast Minneapolis? They want to terrier up the town.”
Northeast Minneapolis has many creative claims to fame, but perhaps the most entertaining (or ridiculous, depending on your point of view) is the Northeast Dog Parade. Pooches and their parents dress up, dress down, or run au-natural (pooches only) during the pawsitively delightful event. This year’s parade (part of the “I Heart NE” initiative) took place on July 27th—a gorgeous summer evening. Beginning at Chute Park, a hundred-plus pooches paraded with their two-legged counterparts down East Hennepin Avenue to the St. Anthony Main area at the MIssissippi River. Not too long for the petite-pets, and not too short for the long line, it was dog-tail to dog-tail of frills, fur, and fun.
Police officers were on hand to ensure no hot dogs (or their owners) got out of control. The parade organizer used a megaphone to bark out the “ready-set-go” mark. No pushing, shoving, or nipping was involved during the line-up. There was a trio of chihuahas in pink tutus, there was a Super Dog! costume on an adorable mutt, there was a leopard-print “haute-dog” couture coat ensemble, and there was a “Golden Snitch” from Harry Potter’s world. Purebreds and mutts donned tie-dyed tees and the ever-stylin’ minimalist red bandana worn artfully around the neck. It was full-paws ahead during a very fun 20 minute parade, and as far as the nose could tell, no pooper scoopers were needed. That’s a big difference from the Macy’s Day Parade line-up!
Businesses along the way showed their support with bowls of fresh water and treats. Bone Adventure was amazingly generous with huge, free goodie bags not only for the pooches but for their feline relatives who were left at home (no doubt happier for it). Sidewalk cafe patrons laughed and took pictures (check hashtags #nedogparade on Twitter and “northeast dog parade” on Flickr) but, understandably, didn’t seem too anxious to share their appetizers. More than a few people stopped their cars and asked “What’s going on?” (you could see a few of the dogs roll their eyes at that question).
Dog-friendly businesses (or simply businesses who love dogs) were in attendance at the “Flea Market” set-up down by the Mississippi, the culmination of the event. If you were in the market for holistic, organic treats or a dentist who loves dogs as much as dental floss, you were in the right place. A casual, clap-for-your-favorite costume contest earned “The Golden Snitch” mutt a proud prize. There was also a best-dog-trick contest … but this reporter wasn’t sure who ended up winning.
A now-annual event, this Northeast Dog Parade is getting to be a don’t-miss event for those proud to call a four-legged their best pal. For ongoing information, check out northeastminneapolis.com.