Something Fun: Pet Parade update – 2021 event a definite maybe

May 2021 Posted in Uncategorized

By Melissa Wagoner

“The Pet Parade is scheduled for May 15 at 10 a.m., as normal,” Randal Thomas – a member of the Kiwanis Club of Silverton and chairman of the parade – said, adding it will go on as long as Marion County is not in Oregon’s Extreme Risk level for  COVID-19 on that date. 

Canceled in 2020 for the first time since its inception in 1934, the Silverton Pet Parade is a tradition like no other.

“It is your quintessential small-town event,” Thomas confirmed. Adding, “It’s not just for kids. We have adults in their 50s, 60s, 70s and older. We had a woman whose dog won one year and she was in her 80s.”

And it’s not just for pet owners either. 

“We’ve had antique cars, kids in costume, kids that ride their bikes, scooters or skateboards,” Thomas listed. “It’s an opportunity to be in a parade. It’s a time to come together.”

Which is why the initial approval of this year’s parade felt so monumental to Thomas, who felt last year’s virtual version did not have the same community appeal. 

“The virtual Pet Parade went better than we anticipated,” Thomas said. Held via Facebook, participants posted photos of their animals. “But this is exciting.”

COVID-19 rick levels permiting, the parade kicks off at 9:30 a.m. near Coolidge-McClaine Park, where participants will be sorted into categories and spaced at socially distanced intervals – no need for pre-registration. The parade will commence at precisely 10 a.m. starting with Main Street, then First Street and ending on A Street. 

“The key thing is that participants need to be masked and be spaced outside of family groups,” Thomas stressed. “And same thing with those who are viewing the parade.”

Because, although the parade was initially approved, all pandemic protocols are still in-place. 

“It may be a little different to what we’d normally have but hopefully those that are comfortable will still attend,” Thomas said. “And hopefully those that are comfortable will still participate.”

Because community-wide participation is what the Pet Parade is all about. 

“I’ve seen pet rocks to gold fish in a wagon,” Thomas said. He has chaired the event for so many years he’s lost count. “Every time I think I’ve seen everything there’s always something new. We’re hopeful this will be a successful year.”  To keep up with parade plans go to

Annual Silverton Pet Parade

Saturday, May 15 at 10 a.m. – Marion County
COVID-19 risk level permitting

Route – Start at Coolidge McClaine Park, then Main, First, and A streets. 

No pre registration required. Participants arrive between 9:30 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. Masks and social distancing for both participants and attendees.

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