WINNSBORO — On July 4, Winnsboro pressed pause on patriotic revelry to celebrate paws.
The second annual Paws Parade presented by the Historic Winnsboro Downtown Merchants, took place Saturday at Gazebo Park, and celebrated Fairfield County’s four-legged companions.
“I thought this was great,” said Kathy Timms, owner of Summer Day Gifts and member of Historic Winnsboro Downtown Merchants.
Timms said the participation and enthusiasm exceeded expectations for the second-year event.
“We had 15 entries,” Timms said. “Two rabbits, a cat and 12 dogs.”
Despite the inclusion of a variety of species and breeds, all entries remained docile and amiable. Although some pets had a difficult time staying in costume, or in the case of Gunnie and JBird, refused to carry flags.
“Normally they’re pretty good,” said Nan Richards, owner.
Sarah Bryant, owner of the two rabbit parade participants, Cotton and Pepper, said this cross-species cooperation is common in her household.
“They’re house bunnies,” Bryant said. “They’ve got two cats that live with them, and they’re a very happy foursome.”
The Paws Parade began with a walk around the block led by Deborah Rollinson
Canine entries walked on leashes. The lone feline entry, Cinder, was carried; and the rabbit entries were carted along the parade route.
Dorothy Christy, Bryant’s sister, joked about the rabbits posh transportation.
“If I come back, I’d like to be one of her rabbits,” joked Christy.
After the animals and their owners completed their circuit, pets were judged, and superlatives were awarded.
“The judges had a hard time,” said Terry Vickers, president of the Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce.
This difficulty was in part because of the wide variety of festively dressed pets, but also because size-based superlatives were designated using sight.
“We’re not wetting and weighing them, so we just had to eyeball it,” Timms said.
Sheba received the award for Sweetest Face, Elwood was both the happiest and largest pet, Holly was the smallest pet, Pepper and Cotton were the most unusual pets and KassiVida was named best dressed.
While many pets were adorned with patriotic patterns, KassiVida sashayed down Congress Street in a pink ensemble including wings and a tutu.
“She’s a fairy princess dog,” explained Jennifer Marthers, owner.