Local pets, their owners and animal lovers will gather Saturday for the 72nd annual Kiwanis Pet Parade, scheduled 10 a.m. beginning at First and Main streets in downtown Los Altos.
The Kiwanis Club of Los Altos launched the parade in 1948, and it’s been a community tradition ever since. The free event draws hundreds of participants and spectators each year.
Owners and their pets – from dogs and cats to turtles and ducks – are slated to promenade up and down Main and State streets, many clad in colorful costumes for the occasion. Local youth groups, marching bands and public officials riding in vintage cars will take part in the festivities as well. The mayors of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills are typically among those appearing in the parade.
Longtime community volunteer Dennis Young, named the Town Crier’s 2018 Los Altan of the Year, will serve as grand marshal of this year’s parade.
“After the initial surprise of being asked, I am excited to be the grand marshal of the 72nd annual Kiwanis Pet Parade,” Young said. “It is quite an honor and responsibility, and I hope to live up to the tradition.”
Bo, the Los Altos Police Department’s new K-9, will lead the parade.
Julie McPherson serves as president of the Kiwanis Club.
“The Kiwanis Club of Los Altos proudly welcomes the community to our 72nd annual Pet Parade,” she said. “All are invited to attend and participate in the event. We would like to extend a special invitation to our new community members.”
McPherson said the parade captures “the small-town spirit of Los Altos. It’s fun and it’s over quickly.”
And it spans generations.
“The kids who were in the parade (years ago) are coming back with their kids now,” she said.
Organizers said they would not turn away anyone who wants to march in the parade; seek out Kiwanis volunteers in yellow T-shirts before the parade for directions to the staging area. All marchers will receive participation ribbons.
The parade caps a busy two days for Kiwanis Club members. The Los Altos group is joining forces with other Kiwanis clubs to host the 41st annual Special Games for developmentally challenged youth Friday at West Valley College.
McPherson said the club is on the lookout for new members.
To volunteer for an event, to join the club and for more information, email info@ losaltoskiwanis.org or visit losaltoskiwanis.org.