Jo’s Easter Pet Parade has become one of our favorite Austin events. This year Bill and I arrived early enough to see the paraders coming down the South Congress Avenue sidewalk. Dogs and their humans followed a small brass band and the Easter Bunny to the parking lot behind Jo’s Coffee Shop.
Last year’s contest had a “Pets in Drag” / Leslie theme. This year seemed to be theme-less, although “Keepin’ Austin Weird” would be appropriate. About 40 canine contestants were introduced by name, along with a list of their favorite activities. “Walking on South Congress,” “napping,” “eating treats,” and “barking at squirrels” were mentioned, along with the ever-popular “sniffing butts.”
The competition was fierce. Everyone went all out to impress the judges:
After introductions were completed, the judges deliberated for a few minutes and then their decisions were announced. This unicorn—I mean, dog—was awarded honorable mention.
Third place went to a gang of small dogs with fake human body parts hanging from their sides. I didn’t catch the description, but I assumed (hoped) it was some film reference.
After looking at the next two photos here, see if you can guess the first-place winner: the Easter basket extravaganza or the Wizard of Oz flying monkey with Wicked Witch.
If you guessed the Easter basket group, you would be wrong. Much to our surprise, the flying monkey-dog was declared the winner and the basket came in second. We think that cute little Wicked Witch influenced the judges’ selection. But no matter…it was all for a worthwhile cause since the registration fee benefited non-profit Austin Pets Alive!.