A non-profit group based in Clinton is hoping to set a world record on Saturday for a parade of pooches.
“Guinness gave us the go-ahead to attempt to break a world record for the most dogs in a costume parade,” says Sandi Bartels, co-executive director of Midwest Pets for Life. “Back several years ago, a San Diego PetCo set the record at 337 dogs, so we’re going to need a lot of dogs to beat that record.”
Midwest Pets for Life helps elderly, disabled and low income residents keep their pets and this Saturday’s parade is a fundraiser for the group as well. They’ve settled on a kind of tongue-twister name for the event.
“It’s the Muddy Mississippi River Mutt March,” Bartels says.
Dogs cannot march in a onesie. The pooches must be in a two-piece costume to be counted for that potential world record.
“If the dog had on a tutu, it could have on a little hat or a necklace or if it had on a bumblebee costume, it might have a little flower on its heads,” Bartels says. “It can be a t-shirt and a necktie. You know, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. They don’t have to go out and buy anything — just so the costume is two pieces.”
The Mississippi River Mutt March will start in Clinton at 11 o’clock Saturday, cross the river bridge and end in Fulton. That’s 1.6 miles. The dogs only have to walk in single file for about five blocks for the event to qualify for the Guinness World Record, then the dogs’ owners may carry them if the pooches get pooped. There will be a trolley, too, for owners and their pets who can’t walk the rest of the way.
“If the people all come out and watch it and cheer the dogs on, it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Bartels says.
Dog owners must pre-register by Friday night to enter their dog in the parade. Registration information and details about the parade are here.
(Reporting by Dave Vickers, KROS, Clinton)