The Montgomery Mall is going to the dogs on Sunday when Pride Partners, LLC, in conjunction with mall management and local sponsors, host the first doggie ccontest beginning at 11 a.m.
Canines, along with their companions, are invited to attend, strut their stuff in full costume, and collect complimentary treats from mall merchants prior to judging at the North Wales mall.
Inspiration for the event came from a previous affair. “Back in 2005 I had a bark park Halloween costume party for dogs,” said Richard Buttacavoli, one of the event producers. “All these people showed up in costume with their dogs and it was a lovely event.” The mall, he said, is the perfect location because the show will go on, rain or shine.
The free exposition hopes to draw attention and support to the ‘at capacity’ dilemma facing local shelters and rescues due to the overwhelming surrender of companion animals that were adopted during the Covid pandemic. Not long after people returned to their jobs they also began returning their pets.
Mall management and community officials also hope to bring renewed interest to the shopping venue because spending locally benefits area schools and municipalities.
In conjunction with the Halloween Expo, mall retailers will be hosting a simultaneous sidewalk sale offering great bargains for shoppers with or without dogs.
Empty retail space, caused in part by the pandemic, will look lively as local not-for-profit groups fill storefront windows with displays highlighting their mission and accomplishments.
“I’m trying to get as many non-profits as possible to come in and do a window display,” said Buttacavoli. Nonprofits looking to exhibit should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local animal rescues and shelters including Tiny Paws Rescue, Animal Care and Control Team (ACCT) of Philadelphia, Logan’s Heroes and Wet Nose Rescue will be on hand and free entertainment will be provided by Tina Montgomery, Rocco Definis and D.J. Sharia Wallace with sound by ISAWVISIONS. And KeyBank just announced it will be giving donations to each one of the shelters that are going to be there.Miss Montgomery County, Shannon Cattie, and Melvin Ford, the Mall’s operations manager of 11 years, will have the honor of leading the pet parade.
Local officials, business owners and celebrities will serve as judges for the Doggie Costume segment and award prizes for most creative and original, best human and doggie duo, the funniest, cutest and the showing of pride.
An after party will be held at Smokey Bones at 3 p.m. on the outdoor patio for event goers and Eagles fans.
Interested in entering your canine companion in the costume contest? For a hassle-free check in, click here to print out the entry form, make inquiries if you’d like to be a vendor or to learn more about the event.