Pet Parade

Decked-out pets and animal-loving children will parade through downtown Olympia on Saturday for the 78th annual Pet Parade, hosted by The Olympian.

Here's what you need to know to participate or to get the best view.

Judging: The assembly and judging begins at 8:45 a.m. at Heritage Park. No registration is required; participants can show up and assemble according to pet.

Categories: Twenty-two judges will award winners in these categories: wheels, impersonations, floats, horses, pets, cats, large dogs, small dogs and clowns. Five grand-prize winners will be announced after the parade; other awards are given at judging. Every child will receive an award.

Theme: "Wild Things." Organizer Kim Suwak said organizers have a Northwest theme in mind - think banana slugs, raccoons and Bigfoot. But "people use a lot of creativity when preparing for pet parade," she said.

Time: 10 a.m. to noon

Route: Starts at Fifth Avenue Southeast and Water Street. View the parade along Fifth Avenue, Franklin Street, Seventh Avenue and Washington Street.

Party in the park: After the parade, people can head to Sylvester Park, where children will get a free ice cream bar and a bag of goodies. The grand-prize winners will be announced at the gazebo.

Admission: Free; donations of unopened pet food for Thurston County Animal Services are requested.

Rules: No motorized or battery-operated vehicles are allowed. Animals must be under control. Participants, who must be 16 or younger, should bring water for pets before and after the parade and pick up after them. No commercial entries or politicking are allowed.

More information: 360-570-7790