Last year, we had a great idea to introduce our new mascot Liberty. Joined by General Washington, our Briard pup led a parade down Duke of Gloucester Street, while collecting donations and raising awareness for our community partner, Heritage Humane Society. We honestly thought that 100, maybe 200, people would show up. But let me tell you—never underestimate the power of animal lovers! It seemed as if all of Williamsburg wanted to show its support. In the end, close to a thousand people and their pets descended on the Historic Area for the big event.
This year, we’re holding the event in October—Saturday, October 15 to be exact. (Go ahead and mark your calendars). Not only are we hoping the weather will be cooler, but in the spirit of Halloween, we’re also adding a new feature to the mix. That’s right. Start brainstorming now about your dog costumes!
It will be a morning dedicated to our four-legged friends, including Miss Liberty herself. Get here early and enjoy complimentary gourmet dog treats at the Farmer’s Market from our apprentice chefs. You can also participate in a Q&A session with our Coach & Livestock Staff to learn about 18th-century herding breeds, or participate in our Halloween dog costume contest. Each activity leads up to the big parade down DoG Street. Ready to join us? RSVP here.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15
8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Gourmet Dog Treats at Williamsburg Farmers Market
(while supplies last!)
Location: Merchants Square
Get to the event early or stay late to enjoy complimentary (all-natural) gourmet dog treats in Merchants Square. Our apprentice chefs will be passing them out at the Farmers Market while supplies last. Here’s a peek at last year’s recipe. This year’s recipe will also be dog-tested and Liberty-approved!
9:15 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Drop off donations for Heritage Humane Society and Register for the Dog Costume Contest (First 50 dogs eligible; registration ends at 9:45!)
Get your pet portrait taken by professional local photographer
Learn more about Leicester Longwool Sheep and 18th-century herding dogs
Location: Palace Green
Check-in starts at 9:15 at the foot of Palace Green. We encourage you to bring a donation for Heritage Humane Society. You’ll find the shelter’s complete wish list here but some items include creamy low fat peanut butter, large Kong dog toys, laundry detergent (high efficiency preferred), paper towels, toilet paper, Milkbone’s Soft & Chewy Dog Treats, and Pedigree Dentastix. Last year, your generous donations filled four carts full of food and supplies for our local animals in need!
Local photographer Wayne Reynolds will also be on hand before the walk to take your dog’s picture with the Governor’s Palace as a backdrop. Any donations you make will go straight to Heritage Humane Society.
Pet Costume Contest
Location: Market Square Stage
Join us at the Market Square stage for a Halloween costume contest! Our panel of special judges (including Liberty) will select its top three favorite costumes based on originality and execution. From there, we’ll choose the crowd favorite based on applause. The winner will get a special basket of dog goodies including a batch of our chef’s homemade treats; a plush Liberty; patriotic collar and leash; Haunting on DoG Street all-access passes; and more!
George Washington & Liberty Meet the Crowd, Lead the Walk
Location: Palace Green to the Capitol
Then, George Washington and Liberty will arrive by horse and carriage and lead the “pack” in a march down Duke of Gloucester (DoG Street). Last year, many of our featured dogs that had been available for adoption leading up to the event showed up to participate. One of them found his forever home that day!
This year, we will continue to feature pups who are in our local shelter waiting to join their perfect families. Pups like Chip pictured below—a hound mix who loves adventures and taking rides…. even the 18th-century way! Click here to see more of his friends at Heritage Humane Society.
1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Live Auction Featuring Modern and 18th-century-inspired Pet Products
Location: Market Square Stage
Stay after the walk for our exciting live auction! We will feature several unique dog items you can take home as souvenirs to remember the special day with your pup.
One final note worth mentioning—we were impressed during our last event that all the animals who attended were on their best behavior, no doubt in part to their very responsible owners. Here is a copy of Liberty’s Event Etiquette to review with your pet before-hand so that this can be another fun (and safe) event for all.
Will you and your pooch be joining us? Let us know on the Facebook event.
If you live too far away but are interested in joining our Dogs of DoG Street club, you’re in luck. Many of our Liberty products are now available online. Click here to take a look and have them shipped right to you!
A special thank you to Wayne Reynolds, Rob Hunter, Lisa Martin Lee, Dave Doody, and Ashley Ross for the adorable photos featured in this post