Yes, as hokey as it may sound, the Annual Dog Parade is a very big deal here in Oriental. Just ask the 80+ pups who turned out last year to strut their stuff for the judges as they vied for a variety of awards.
Oriental has long been a dog lover’s haven. There are no leash laws in the village so dogs are free to visit folks all through town. They will soon make you their new best friend, especially if you happen to have a dog biscuit handy. Everyone in town knows all the local four legged characters that stop to greet you with a doggy grin and a wagging tail. Restaurants and shops even keep water bowls on their porches and treats inside for all the tail-wagging celebs that instinctively know which business is an easy touch for that extra gourmet doggie biscuit.
If you love dogs, you have to come down Saturday, March 31st for the Annual Dog Parade which is an absolute hoot! Last year, with over 80 entries, the parade was fun to watch and fun to participate in. There are many categories for awards with “Most Bribed” being the favorite – or at least the most talked about! Folks cheer their favorites on while “impartial” judges decide who gets top honors in the best dressed, friendliest, best in show and other categories. It’s a fun filled day for all creatures, two-legged as well as four and, if you’ve never been to Oriental before, this is a great weekend to come enjoy the parade, bike or stroll through the village, check out the scenic water views and eat some fabulous fresh seafood!
Registration is from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. with the parade following immediately afterwards at 11:00. The awards ceremony takes place at noon and the festivities are in Lou Mac Park on Oriental’s beautiful waterfront.