Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

From Faribault: Pet parade, COVID-19 style August 7, 2020

Parade pooch.

 

NOT EVEN A GLOBAL PANDEMIC could stop the 84th annual Faribault Pet Parade from rolling through commercial and residential areas of my community Thursday evening.

 

The Faribault Parks and Recreation Department planned, and participated in, the parade.

 

A Hawaiian-themed parks and rec unit pulls an electronic sign.

 

Heading west on Fourth Street, the signage alerts motorists to the parade.

 

Rather than kids and adults leading and carrying leashed pets, participants were required to stay inside/on vehicles. Car cruise style.

 

Parade vehicles aim west along MN State Highway 60/Fourth Street.

 

It’s all about man’s best friend in this parade entry.

 

Stuffed into the back of a pick-up, kids, a dog (s) and stuffed animals.

 

Numbers were down considerably from previous parades when kids cram streets and parade watchers fill sidewalks. Randy and I were the lone observers sitting in our lawn chairs along a busy stretch of Minnesota State Highway 60/Fourth Street, the main route into the heart of downtown.

 

I wasn’t quick enough to get a good photo of the farm animals on this trailer. But, oh, that girl’s wave and smile…

 

Pink balloons mark a convertible carrying cancer survivors and their pet dogs. The 2020 Relay for Life of Rice County is happening this evening, August 7, with a drive-through event at the fairgrounds.

 

We get a hearty wave from the driver of the Heartland Animal Hospital car.

 

Despite the low numbers, the spirit of the parade prevailed with waves and smiles and simply an overall happy feeling. Much needed.

 

One family’s humorous take on COVID-19.

 

Masking up inside a vintage ambulance decorated with assorted oddities and a barely noticeable dog peeking out the passenger side window.

 

I have yet to figure out why Woody from Toy Story was placed on the front of this vintage car.

 

There were reminders, though, of COVID-19 in face masks worn and in a humorous message shared by one family.

 

Mixing political aspirations into the parade…a city council candidate advertised her candidacy on multiple vehicles.

 

Not your typical royalty…Princess Mocha.

 

We moved and viewed the parade again near its ending just blocks from Central Park.

 

All too quickly, the police-led parade, the pets, the aspiring politician, Princess Mocha, passed. But the memories will remain. Of a pet parade that proceeded even during these difficult days of a global pandemic.

 

© Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

8 Responses to “From Faribault: Pet parade, COVID-19 style”

  1. valeriebollinger Says:

    What a fun parade idea. I’m happy it wasn’t canceled due to COVID.

  2. Sandra Van Erp Says:

    Good for the town! It was a very big deal back in the day, from video I’ve seen, still is. I have pictures of my trikes, then bikes with crepe paper spokes, our poor two golden retrievers and our long suffering cat that also was in the St. Mary’s play, Little Women…and exited the gym out the side door first chance. I think this is unique to Faribault, if it weren’t, I’m sure you’d be blogging about it! Thanks, good memories.

  3. Susan Ready Says:

    My oh my was this creative!! During this pandemic time I am continually impressed with the ingenuity of people to make the best of a situation and have fun in a safe way.
    I might add Bella would have been undone over all the commotion had she been there 🙂

  4. It turned out great!!!


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