GLENCOE, Ill. (Sept. 30, 2013) – The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Spooky Pooch Parade takes place October 19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is the only day of the year dogs will have an opportunity to take their humans to the Garden.
“Our four-legged friends never disappoint. Last year we had the most handsome and beautiful dogs who dressed as a tiger, sheriff, cowardly lion, pumpkin patch, and rain forest, and many more varieties of adorable. The rain forest didn’t fool us, neither did the pumpkin patch. Our horticulture staff knew immediately that the rain forest was in the wrong temperate zone and the pumpkin patch was not at the Garden for our HallowFest event,” said Michelle Cinqui, coordinator of visitor events and programs.
In addition to the parade, there will be a costume contest and a vendors’ area with representatives from shelter and rescue organizations, including SitStayRead; As Good as Gold: Golden Retriever Rescue of Northern Illinois; Paws Chicago; Animal Education and Rescue; and Found Chicago. Also participating are dog-related products and services including Best Friend’s Pet Care, The Right Spot Pet Massage, Yellow Dog Treats, Dog Collar Boutique, Frames by Devora, and Git Boned.
Dogs will be judged in five costume categories that include Best Dog/Owner Look-alike; Best Puppy in Costume for dogs ages 1 and under; Best Senior in Costume for dogs ages 10 and older, and Best Horticulture Interpretation; the grand prize will be awarded to Best Costume Overall. Winners receive prize packages from area pet supply shops and services.
Judges for this year’s contest include Mike Caplan, weatherperson from WLS-TV (Channel 7); Jerome McDonnell, host of Worldview on WBEZ-FM; Susan Randstrom, formally from the Chicago Sun-Times; Janice Brown Gork, publisher of Chicagoland Tails magazine; and Karen Hamilton, national marketing representative from Lagunitas Chicago, sponsor of the event. Ed Curran, weatherperson for WBBM-TV (Channel 2) will be emcee.
Registration begins at 11 a.m.; costume judging takes place from 11 a.m. to noon. The parade, led by Scooby-Doo and Shaggy, kicks off from the Rose Garden at noon and winds its way through 12 distinct gardens at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Judges deliberate during the parade, and the awards ceremony begins at 12:30 p.m. Dogs are invited to stay at the Garden until 2 p.m.
Registration through October 18 is $19 per dog. Day-of registration is $25 per dog. Chicago Botanic Garden members receive $5 off each price. Parade spectators pay for parking only. Registration forms, complete with the dog-gone rules, are available at www.chicagobotanic.org/dog or at the Information Desk in the Garden’s Visitor Center.
The Spooky Pooch Parade is sponsored by Lagunitas, which began on a kitchen stove in northern California in 1993. As their popularity has grown across the country, so has their positive impact. By pioneering long-term trade agreements with hops and grain farmers, Lagunitas is able to ensure fair prices and help provide stable income to family farms. The company supports nonprofit organizations around the country.
Admission to the Chicago Botanic Garden is free. Select event fees apply. Parking is $25 per car; free for Garden members. For information about Garden programs and events visit www.chicagobotanic.org or call (847) 835-5440.
To download images from last year’s event, visit http://chicagobotanicgarden.smugmug.com/Other/spooky-pooch-2012/26042568_HqVVxL#!i=2162390497&k=n6K6JVt. To view a video of last year’s event, visit http://youtu.be/IvJADNpesGE.