Park to host Pet Parade at Dodge Park Farmers Market

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published September 3, 2015


Meows and barks will resound in Dodge Park when the Sterling Heights Parks and Recreation Department puts on a Pet Parade Sept. 10.

The 6:30 p.m. parade will run its route through the Dodge Park Farmers Market, which started up for the first time in June and has operated 3-8 p.m. Thursdays throughout the summer.

Sterling Heights Community Relations Director Bridget Doyle said the Pet Parade will run concurrent with the farmers market, adding that the public has received the latter event very well and has made it a venue for mingling and community activity.

Special activities like the Pet Parade are aimed at amplifying the fun, Doyle explained.

“We know there are a lot of people who are passionate about their pets, and we thought this would be an excellent way to bring them out and be festive,” she said.

According to organizers, the parade will welcome dogs, cats, reptiles, domesticated birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, rats, gerbils and other “furry friends” so long as they are properly leashed, restrained or in a carrier.

Besides being a good day to walk the dog, the event will give pets and their guardians an excuse to dress up in costume.

Judges will award a grand prize to a pet with the best costume, judged on originality, comedic value and cuteness — however, costumes are not required to join the actual parade. Pet owners must be present in order to pick up a prize.

Pet owners must pick up after animals that defecate, and the farmers market and the city are not responsible for any pet-related disputes or injuries.

Sterling Heights Recreation Supervisor Troy Nowotny said this is the first time he can recall that the city has organized such an event. He said organizers are focusing on marketing and are still reaching out to some vendors who specialize in pet-specific products.

“I believe that we have one vendor that does dog toys and animal toys,” he said.

Nowotny encouraged people and their pets to check out the parade.

“Just mind your pet and make sure they’re having a good time,” he said.

The Sterling Heights Parks and Recreation Department and the city’s Dodge Park Farmers Market will host the Pet Parade at 6:30 p.m. Sept.

10 at Dodge Park, 40620 Utica Road in Sterling Heights. Participants are encouraged to arrive at the park by 6 p.m.

Admission is free, and registration is not necessary. Learn more about the parade and the Parks and Recreation Department by visiting or by calling (586) 446-2700.