Downtown goes to the dogs: 70th annual Kiwanis Pet Parade Saturday in Los Altos

Town Crier File Photo
Last year’s Kiwanis Pet Parade attracted costumed pets and owners alike. This year’s event is scheduled Saturday.

Downtown Los Altos will be filled with furry faces Saturday morning.

The 70th annual Kiwanis Pet Parade – featuring local residents and their pets – is scheduled 10 a.m., starting at First and Main streets.

“It is a fun way to start the morning by seeing a bunch of happy people and their pets, and getting a glimpse of who the cast of characters is in our town,” said Martha McClatchie, president of the Kiwanis Club of Los Altos.

Parade participants – which typically include dogs, cats, birds, goats and even tarantulas – will march up and down Main and State streets. Admission is free.

Art Carmichael will serve as grand marshal for the second time.

The Los Altos native has been a member of the Kiwanis Club for 50 years and has served the city as mayor, president of the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce and volunteer police officer.

“He is an all-around gem,” McClatchie said of Carmichael. “It seemed so fitting on our 70th anniversary to honor him on his 50th.”

The service club launched the parade in 1948 in Los Altos, and it attracts thousands of people each year. McClatchie said the tradition carries on because “people love their pets, and if you don’t have a pet, you love to see dogs and cats and chickens and pygmy goats. This is just a feel-good event that attracts a large cross section of people.”

The parade, a heritage event, features more than pets and their owners. Vintage cars, marching bands and a variety of organizations – from school groups to dog advocates – will be showcased as well.

Parade organizers prefer that people register online to march in the parade (the deadline was last week) but said they will not turn anyone away Saturday.

All parade participants will receive participation ribbons, according to McClatchie.


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