About 1,000 spectators viewed 450 participants and their festively garbed pets in the sixth annual Burlingame Pet Parade on Saturday, September 26, 2009.
The parade was sponsored by the Broadway Merchants Association, the Peninsula Humane Society/SPCA and the Daily Journal.
- Ann Keighran, Mayor of Burlingame
- Jon Mays, Editor in Chief, Daily Journal
- Lisa Van Buskirk, VP of Development and Planned Giving, Peninsula Humane Society/SPCA
Grand Prize Winner and Best Dressed Group – “Pets Are Amore” won the Best Dressed Group ribbon and was also chosen as the Grand Prize Winner.(See photo above.)
The Diodati family of Burlingame family, Helen, Sandra, Tony and Sandra’s children Letizia (7) and Valeria (3) Acosta, paddled a black-and-gold gondola (made of cardboard and built on a piano dolly) that carried their Pomeranian, Taz, age 10, West Highland dog, Lady, age 9, and two singing teddy bears, one of which had a mustache. All were dressed in black-striped shirts and black pants with bright red sashes at their waists and on straw boater hats. American and Italian flags flew at the front of the gondola. At the back was a shelf adorned with miniature ceramic cats, apples and muffins.
Best Dressed Pet – Lady Sage, a 3-year-old cocker spaniel, was deemed the “Best Dressed Pet.”
She marched regally in a red velvet coronation robe and tiara, accompanied by the Ruberos of Burlingame: Lindley, Angelo and son Corbin, a first grader at McKinley Elementary School who was dressed as her knight in shining armor. The Corbins adopted Lady Sage from the Peninsula Humane Society this summer.
Most Original Float or Wagon – “Splash of Venice” won this category with two gondolas accompanied by pets and members of the swim aerobics class offered by Muffie Calbreath of Burlingame through the Burlingame Recreation Center.
All were dressed as gondoliers. Marching with Muffie were Claudio and Ann Catena of Burlingame, Ann Bruno of San Bruno, Annalie, Coralyn and Clinton Taylor of Burlingame, Barb Anderson of Burlingame, and Will and Cheryl Graczewski of Burlingame. Their pets were Bella, 1, a Sheltie-Chiahuahua mix; Mattie, 5, a Lhasa Apso; Little, 3, a Shih Tzu; Toby, 12, a Collie; Bello, 2, a Pomeranian; and Oliver the white rabbit.
Best Dressed Owner/Pet Combo– For the first time, a cat won a top award with “Court Jesters,” featuring WALL-E, a 5-month-old black cat with white feet rescued from the Humane Society who was fearless around dogs.
WALL-E rode in a stroller. Accompanying the cat in jester costumes trimmed with bells and rainbow ribbons were owner Katrina Kirth, 7, and her mother, Trish Kirth, of Millbrae.
This year, there were hundreds of dogs ranging from Great Danes to miniature Chihuahuas, a white rat, a mouse, a turtle, two bearded dragon lizard, a king snake, a gecko and a parakeet. Among the other interesting participants in the parade included:
- Burlingame Police Department “K-9” Ivan marched with his handler, Officer Roy Bryson. Ivan is the first Burlingame police dog purchased with donations by the public. A German Shepherd, Ivan is approximately 3 years old. He completed state certification training academy with Officer Bryson.
- The LeGrande family of Burlingame featured three princesses and their “Royal Pooch.” The princesses were Madeleine, 6, Sophie, 4 and Mia, 2. They were accompanied by Harley, 4, a Bernese mountain dog, and their parents, Kristy, who was dressed as Snow White, and Craig, who was dubbed “Royal Photographer.” Harley carried pouches labeled “Royal Pooch Biscuits” and “Princess Necessities.”
- Lewa, a gecko, rode in a kiddie wagon with the Ingram family of Burlingame.
- Button, a 6-year-old-Yorkie, was dressed as a pony with a cowboy on his back. He marched with his owner, Randi Reynolds of South San Francisco.
- Ten-year-old Mariana Cardenas of Burlingame brought her Cavalier King Charles spaniel, 21 months old, who was dressed as in a colorful clown costume.
- Buddy, a 3-year-old pug was dressed like a prisoner in black-and-white stripes. He belongs to the Bliss family in Burlingame.
- Two nurses from Burlingame Villa, a senior care facility, brought the two resident dogs, Bella and Matilda, who both wore dresses.
- A yellow Labrador was dressed as a firefighter.
- A three-legged black Labrador wore a ballerina’s tutu.
- A cocker spaniel was dressed as a Hawaiian hula dancer.
- One family decorated their cat carrier as a cage.
- A turtle was adorned with flowers on its shell.
- A Great Dane wore a Harlem Globe Trotters tank top.
- A mouse rode in a small toy school bus.
Carrying the American flag at the beginning of the parade was Malia Smith, a sixth grader from Burlingame Intermediate School.
The children marching at the front of the parade were from St. Paul’s Nursery School, where Susan Kelly is the director.
Participants marched to music provided by the Burlingame High School Band and the Los Trancos Woods Community Marching Band.
The San Mateo Elks Concert Band and the Burlingame Show Choir performed for the crowd before and after the parade.
Two clowns, Mr. Buddy (Ken Hoffman) and Mike Ianneo (Funnybone the Clown) entertained children and made free balloon animals.
Parade commentary was provided by Stephen Hamilton and Derek and Diana Daniels.
JoAnn Deal and her husband, Councilman Jerry Deal, helped children create animal wind socks.
The Peninsula Humane Society had its mobile spay-neuter van and adoption van on display.
Special thanks to the hardworking volunteers who organized the parade:
- Brian Probst of the Peninsula Humane Society
- Ross Bruce of the Broadway Merchants Association
- Mayor Ann Keighran
- Councilwoman Terry Nagel
- Stephen and Fiona Hamilton
- Rudy Horak
- Bobbi Benson
- Muffie Calbreath
In addition we want to thank:
- Mark Hundley, for serving as the official parade photographer.
- Russ Cohen, for creating the flyers and advertisements
- Jennifer Pfaff, for distributing flyers to many schools and preschools
- The many fine volunteers from the Peninsula Humane Society
The parade was started in 2004 by a group of volunteers who wanted to promote community spirit. No commercial or political entries were permitted.
The Burlingame Pet Parade does not receive any funding from the city. It is an all-volunteer event.