One my favorite fall traditions in Laguna Beach is the long-running annual Pet Parade and Chili Cook-Off. When I say long-running I truly mean it. This year was the twenty-third year for the event!
I've attended every year since I moved to Laguna Beach and I wouldn't miss it for the world. It's a chance for all of us to get out with our pets and mix with our neighbors. This year, over 400 of our neighbors.
And in addition to great fun, the Pet Parade and Chili Cook-off is also a fabulous fundraiser. Over the years it's raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local charities. Local members of the community contribute items for the raffle and we all bid on them. I have definitely spent more than a few dollars bidding on raffle items!
So, a fun chance to support great charities, mix and mingle with your neighbors, and taste world-class chili. Besides all that, the pets dressed up in costumes are downright adorable.
Have I convinced you? I hope so. If I have and you decide to bring your furry family member along and plan to dress them up for the event, I have a few tips for you:
- Make sure your pet can still move freely and that the costume isn't too tight.
- Never cover their mouths or noses. It's important the costume doesn't restrict their breathing.
- Be aware of choking hazards. Some costumes have small buttons or decorations that could be a problem if swallowed.
- Never leave your pet alone while they are in costume. There's the potential for them to get stuck or be injured.
Sparkle Abbey is actually two people, Mary Lee Ashford and Anita Carter, who write the national best-selling Pampered Pets cozy mystery series.
They are friends as well as neighbors so they often get together and plot ways to commit murder. (But don't tell the neighbors.)
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