• Playbook
  • News
  • Jobs
  • Register
Image of people and dogs in the Fourth of July Pet Parade, hosted by Bend Park and Recreation District.

July 4th Pet Parade

A Community Tradition in Downtown Bend since the 1930s – now designated as an Oregon Heritage Tradition.  The parade was cancelled in 1943 due to World War II and in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19. We’re looking forward to hosting this event in 2022!

Parade Participants:

  • Kids of all ages are invited to participate.
  • Dress in costume with your pet or stuffed animal on pulled wagons, floats, bikes or trikes.
  • There’s even limited keepsake Pet Parade buttons available!

Parade Categories:

  • Big Dogs
  • Little Dogs
  • Big Bikes
  • Wagons & Wheels – little bikes, trikes, strollers, scooters, skateboards and wagons
  • Odds & Ends – includes other animals like horses, cattle, llamas, goats, guinea pigs, reptiles and more!

Parking Information

Details about parking coming soon!

Pet Safety Tips for Warm Temperatures

Tips for Pet Safety in Warm Temperatures at 4th of July Pet Parade

If you think your pet will be challenged by warm temperatures at the parade, we encourage you to leave your pet at home and possibly bring a stuffed animal instead.

While tradition calls for fun at the 4th of July Pet Parade, Bend weather can sometimes be rather warm on the holiday. As parade host, Bend Park & Recreation District wants parade participants’ pets to remain healthy and safe in hot weather.

“Warm weather can bring a danger to our pets that we do not always consider. Heat strokes are a sad but common occurrence here in Central Oregon where we have numerous days above 90 degrees,” according to the Bend Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center.

“Dogs’ main cooling mechanism is through respiration or panting and they do not handle heat as well as humans do. Inadequate shade/cover and/or hydration on a hot day can put even the healthiest pet at risk for overheating.”

Tips for keeping your pet comfortable at the Pet Parade include:

  • Before and after the parade, find a cool, shaded place to rest.
  • Staging begins at 9:00 am; the parade starts promptly at 10:00 am.
  • Provide plenty of fresh water, available at parade staging area and en route – just look for the orange flags. Bring a water bottle for you and your pet as well.
  • Allow dogs to cool off in the water pools at the staging area.
  • Keep an eye on your pet’s foot pads for overheating or soreness.
  • Do not leave your pet in the car, not even for a minute.
  • Learn to recognize the signs of heat stroke: Faster, heavier panting; excessive thirst and/or drooling with hanging strands of saliva; increased pulse/ heartbeat; barking, whining or signs of agitation; dark-colored gums or tongue; glassy eyes; elevated body temperature and staggering, weakness, collapse, seizures and/or unconsciousness.

The Bend Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center warns that obese and long-haired animals hold a greater risk to heat stroke due to added insulation. They also noted that heat strokes can commonly occur in brachycephalic dog breeds (ie. Pugs, Bulldogs, boxers, etc.) as their pug-noses offer a less efficient respiratory and cooling mechanism.

Before, during and after the parade, a veterinarian will be on site at the staging area by the Information/First Aid booth. If you think your pet may be having a heat stroke at the parade, it is advised to move the animal to the Information Booth shaded area immediately and request assistance. If at any time you believe your pet may be suffering from heat stroke, contact your regular veterinarian or the Bend Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center at (541) 385-9110.

Image of a kid in the July 4th Pet Parade in Bend, Oregon.

Bend Pet Parade History & Fun Facts:  Did you know?

Yesteryear:

  • The first mention of the Pet Parade was in the Bend Bulletin dated June 21, 1924. 
  • In 1932, Doris Grubb won first place in the first Pet Parade with her cat riding in a baby stroller. In 2005, Doris, at age 77, returned to the Pet Parade again for Bend’s 100th year anniversary.
  • There were 5,000 spectators at the 1932 Pet Parade and all through the 1930’s there was no less than 5,000 spectators at each parade.
  • A badger won 6th place in the 1932 Pet Parade.
  • In 1933 Louise Stacy won first place in the girls division dressed up as the Statue of Liberty. She only received the vote of two judges due to her chewing gum and that the Statues of Liberty in New York was not a gum chewer, causing unrest with the judges!
  • Parade sections had to be well planned to avert scuffles between the animals.
  • Just like today, there were a variety of unique pets in the 1930’s including June bugs, cats, deer, badgers, gold fish, chickens, squirrels, ducks, oxen, calves, a pet eagle, baby coyotes, and two fawns in a netted baby buggy.
  • In 1933, “cross dogs and rattle snakes” were barred from the parade. In the 2000’s, we have replaced that with “no aggressive dogs allowed”… nothing changes!
  • A special treat of lemonade was passed out to all the participants by the Bend Fire Dept. The tradition continues today with popsicles for all participating kids.
  • There were very few pets entered in the 1941 Pet Parade
  • In 1943, there was no formal celebration as it was World War II.

Today:

  • Bend Park and Recreation has organized and produced the Pet Parade since 1949, when time Park and Recreation was part of the city.
  • In 2014, the Pet Parade was designated as an Oregon Heritage Tradition by the Oregon Heritage Commission.
  • Today’s Pet Parade features an estimated  8,000+ participants and spectators.
  • It’s the largest parade in Bend.
  • Variety of animals are in the parade each year, from dogs, horses, llamas, gold fish, chickens and rats, to lizards, goats, bulls, cows, sheep and guinea pigs… to name just a few!
  • The parade is a great regional draw for the community. It’s goofy, off the wall and is a much-loved tradition of Bend!

Image of kids at the July 4th Pet Parade and Old Fashion Festival in Downtown Bend, Oregon.July 4th Old Fashioned Festival – on hiatus

Generations of Bend residents enjoyed the simplicity of the festival. Three-legged races, watermelon eating and pie eating contests, and flinging fish into the river, in addition to live music, food and beverages is what made this event so special.

Drake Park has a full schedule of events each summer and we need to reduce our impact on this iconic park.

We appreciate all that craft vendors have contributed to the event in the past and encourage past July 4th festival attendees to seek them out at other community events.

For more information, contact:

Customer Service
General Inquiries: (541) 389-7275
Fitness/Swim: (541) 388-1133
Email Customer Service