Above: Yelm Prairie Elementary students won the Best Group award today at the Pet Parade in downtown Olympia.
By Janine Unsoeld
The weather cooperated for the 86th annual Pet Parade, which got underway this morning with music performed by the American Legion Band in downtown Olympia.
Costumed chickens, dogs, cats, turtles, and horses walked, were carried, or rode on decorated floats related to this year’s theme of “Under the Sea.”
It’s all about having fun, appreciating our pets, and receiving a little bit of local recognition that can last a long time in a person’s memory. A woman sitting near me on the corner of 5th Avenue and Washington Street with her grandson recalled that she won the Pet Parade’s award for having the Smartest Cat in 1961.
After the parade, everyone went to Sylvester Park for free ice cream, pet-related goodie bags and awards in special categories. The Best Group entry was won by Yelm Prairie Elementary schoolchildren. They received a $250 gift certificate from Mud Bay Granary.
Angie Patton said she and her family, including her daughter, Ashleyn Colten, have been participating in the Pet Parade for over 20 years.
Today, they won the Judges Choice award in the Wheels Category with their float called Finding Nemo. Their toy poodles, Lexi, 3, and Sophie, 5, were Dori and Nemo, respectively, while Lola, their three year old mastiff, was Bruce the Shark. Colten said they worked about two weeks on their float and were up until 3 a.m. this morning finishing it.
As for Lexi and Sophie, the special dye used to color their fur will last for about two or three months, so if you see them out and about in the community, be sure to congratulate them on their award!
The annual event is sponsored by The Olympian newspaper, the Olympia Downtown Association, and many local businesses.
Above: Ashleyn Colten, left, with Lola, a mastiff, and Colten's mother, Angie Patton, with toy poodles Lexi and Sophie in Sylvester Park after the Pet Parade today.