The 4th of July is a time for families to come together and celebrate America’s birthday. For many Bend residents, the holiday means it’s time to spruce up their favorite furry pups.
Every 4th of July, thousands of Bend residents and their dogs line the streets to take part in the historic Old Fashioned July 4th Festival & Pet Parade. It’s a fun way to celebrate the holiday because children of all ages get to show off their special pets by parading them through downtown Bend. The annual event is sponsored by Bend Pet Express and thousands of spectators eagerly wait to see who (or what) will take part in the popular parade.
Parents, children, and furry pets of all kinds lined the streets Monday morning at around 9:30a.m. to stake their spot in the parade. Puppies, like 8-week old Edgar (see picture below) decided to sit out and watch before taking part in the event. Practically the entire city came out to celebrate America’s birthday and to make sure their canine companions had fun, too.
Dog owner and Bend resident, Steven proudly walked his three dogs, Luna, Brody, and Roxy, in the parade. “It’s my second time doing the parade. It’s definitely Bend’s biggest day of the year.”
While people were happily walking through the streets of downtown, business owners like Traci Banks were busy setting up booths at Drake Park. This public park marked the end of the parade where residents and their pets could stroll through and listen to live music, eat cuisine from a variety of food trucks, buy handmade goods, and play games. Banks (owner of an all natural gourmet bakery called Fur Friends) said it was her first time taking part in the event. “We normally are at the Saturday market but decided to come out today. We sell treats for dogs that are made with no preservatives and thought this would be a great place to come since we don’t have a physical store yet.”
Plenty of dogs enjoyed the water stops along the parade route and at the park during the eight-one degree day. Spectators didn’t seem to mind the warm weather and were happy to sit on the street to cheer on both human and canine participants. Even the famous “Flying Chihuahua” returned to float through town in his helium balloon harness this year.
As families gathered together at Drake Park, dogs ran around meeting their competition dressed up in red, white, and blue. The dogs may not remember the festival but residents sure do look forward to it every year.