Whether short or tall, demure or feisty, all pets are invited to strut their stuff at the annual German Village Society Pet Parade, to be held Sunday, Oct. 30, at Schiller Park.

Whether short or tall, demure or feisty, all pets are invited to strut their stuff at the annual German Village Society Pet Parade, to be held Sunday, Oct. 30, at Schiller Park.

Event organizer Greg Gamier, co-owner of Village Pet Supply, said everyone is welcome and there is no charge to register animals.

Registration is at 1:30 p.m. The parade follows at 2 p.m. The festivities begin at the main stage on the south side of the park.

Gamier said he expects at least 70 pets at the event, which will be held rain or shine.

While dogs and cats usually are the centerpiece of the parade, other notable creatures — including a Shetland pony and a pot-bellied pig — have joined the promenade, Gamier said.

“I haven’t seen those in a few years,” he said.

The Rev. Mary Kay Beall Carter will administer a blessing of the animals at a tent near the stage.

It is Halloween weekend, so artistic costume design, for both the pet and pet owner, is recommended, Gamier said.

“I would say a majority of the costumes are homemade as opposed to store-bought,” he said. “It’s very interesting to see how creative people can get.”

Prizes will be awarded in as many as 10 categories, including most fearless, best-dressed and best smile.

Gamier said he’s carrying on the tradition of the late Fred Holdridge, who founded the pet parade more than 10 years ago.

Participants are encouraged to pick up their pets’ waste. Disposable bags are available at the park.

Jay Smith, who was a judge last year with his wife, Marianne, said recent parades have seen a Great Dane dressed as a thoroughbred racehorse, complete with a jockey, and a dachshund done up as a hot dog.

Smaller dogs tend to win more prizes, he said.

“Any time you’re dealing with pets, small and cute beats big and handsome,” Smith said. “Generally, the more bug-like the costume, it seems, the more popular it is.”

gseman@thisweeknews.com

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