A fundraising march for dogs will make its debut on DoG Street in March.
Heritage Humane Society has unveiled plans for the inaugural DoG Street Strut — a parade for canines and their caretakers that will help raise money for Heritage’s operations.
The Strut will be held March 24 on Duke of Gloucester Street in Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area, according to Heritage Media Manager Darci VanderSlik.
Heritage serves stray, surrendered and abused animals in the community and helps pair them with loving homes.
“We’re just excited this is happening, and to get to go there in the heart of Williamsburg and walk for homeless pets,” VanderSlik said. “It’s going to be a great showing for people that have an affinity for animals.”
The DoG Street Strut will follow in the footsteps of another puppy parade, the Dogs of DoG Street. Dogs of DoG Street debuted in 2015 and was an annual fundraising event for Heritage Humane; it was cancelled last fall after Colonial Williamsburg pulled its support, citing its financial situation.
VanderSlik added that Colonial Williamsburg has been a great partner in the past, and while it will not be involved in the new parade, she looks forward to forging a new tradition. Roughly 1,000 dogs attended the Dogs of DoG Street.
“We hope to be doing this every year,” VanderSlik said.
Heritage heard from many disappointed pet owners and business partners after Dogs of DoG Street was canceled, VanderSlik said; once sponsors came forward, Heritage was able to begin planning the new event.
“That’s how this was born,” VanderSlik said. “The community really wanted to see a dog walk again, and we’re really excited.”
The event will begin at Nassau Street, and participants and their pups will walk along DoG Street to the Capitol Building and back. There will also be a shorter walk for elderly dogs, whose owners are unsure if they’ll be able to make the full distance, VanderSlik said.
The parade route will pass through a Vendors’ Village, according to VanderSlik. Local businesses will be able to set up a tent along DoG Street between Merchants Square and Nassau Street.
There will also be contests for participating animals and even their owners, VanderSlik said. While Heritage has not settled on anything, she said possible contests include best trick and owner-pet look-alike competitions.
Participants will also be able to pose for photo-ops and write about why they’re walking, and share the photos on social media.
Registration for the event is now open. Tickets begin at $30, but are 25-percent off through February 14. Registration can be done online, or by mail by printing out this form and sending it to Heritage.