From hot dogs to loofahs, animals of all shapes, colors and sizes filled downtown Sunnyvale with their creative costumes for the 2021 Sunnyvale Pet Parade.
Taking place on Halloween day, the parade began at 10 am. Sunnyvale Mayor Larry Klein led the parade with Miss Sunnyvale. Other VIPs in attendance included Dane Andrew and his dog Rascal, an eight-time winner of various ugliest dog contests. Pets and their owners wandered a few blocks from Murphy Ave. for the parade. Those watching the parade stood on the sidewalk, cheering and taking photos as participants passed by.
Dogs weren’t the only participants in the pet parade. An orange cat was dressed as a surfer, wearing sunglasses and a Hawaiian shirt. A bunny dressed in a thief costume rode in style on a pet-sized Mercedes-Benz decorated with Halloween-themed stickers.
In addition to walking in the parade, attendees could choose to enter their pets in the costume contest. Owners who dressed their pets in the best costumes received goody bags filled with treats and stuffed animals. The winning costume belonged to a small white dog in a garden box dressed as a flower. Second place went to a dog dressed as Michael Scott from the popular TV series “The Office.”
Two community members, Jenny Chen and Lewis Lsellis, chose their dog’s costume based on its name.
“Her name is Libby, but her nickname is Lobster. So we dressed her up as a lobster,” Chen said.
Another pet owner, Estela Luna, decided to wear a costume to match her pet’s costume. Luna and Tank, her English bulldog, dressed up as Mario from the video game “Mario Bros.”
“We chose anything [costume] was the easiest for us of all matches,” Luna said.
Choosing a costume idea was easy; finding the actual costume was more of a challenge. Many participants, including Luna, decided to make their costumes by hand.
Tank’s biggest concern was how comfortable he was in a homemade felt costume, but not all dogs are so lucky.
The Duo Duo Project, one of the parade’s sponsors, is “one of the only nonprofit charities solely dedicated to ending the dog and cat meat trade in China.” The meat trade in China involves selling dog and cat meat as a delicacy.
This Sunnyvale-based non-profit organization uses events like the Sunnyvale Pet Parade to publicize its mission: “We have a table here where we talk about some of our activities,” said Andrea Gung, the founder of Duo Duo Project. .
Not only does Duo Duo Project have a booth at the parade, but Gung also plays an important role in the production of the parade. She is part of a three-person committee that organizes the parade.
“We believe this event promotes a happy and united community. Regardless of people’s political stance, when they see another dog lover, they all become friends,” Gung said.