The annual Dachshund Parade will be held rain or shine this Saturday, May 12 from 10:00 a.m. to Noon at Washington Square Park in Rochester.

Parade founder Marilyle Sweet Page and her dachshund Sweetie joined us for a preview of this year’s event Friday during News 8 at Noon.

“Our first parade was on May 4 in 2002 and we had 22 dogs,” Page recalled. “We met at what was then the Rochester Episcopal Diocesan House on East Avenue. In 2005 we had outgrown the space so we moved to Washington Square Park where we’ve been since that time. We usually can count on about 375 to 390 dachshunds.”

Of their appeal, she said, “I’m fond of saying that once one has been had by a dachshund, one has been had! They’re very winsome. They’re feisty. They’re loyal. They’re loving. Some of them are real comedians!”

Parade organizers ask for a $1 donation for each dachshund. The theme for this year’s parade is variety. “Variety is the spice of life!” Page said. “What we want to feature are the three styles, you might say, of dachshunds – the smooth dachshund which is what Sweetie is, the wire hair dachshund, and the long hair dachshund.”

In addition to the parade, there will be food, music, and vendors, along with information booths for Rochester Hope for Pets, Verona Street Animal Society, TheraVet Acres and Veterinary Specialists of Rochester.

Prizes will also be awarded. “We’re going to have a prize for the dog who has come the farthest, and we’ve had dogs who have come – believe it or not – from South America,” said Page. “And we’ll have a prize for the oldest dog, and then there’s a door prize this year.”

For more information about The Dachshund Parade, click here.