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La Jolla Pet Parade set

Proud pet owners and their pooches will be strutting their stuff in style at the La Jolla Pet Parade & Festival from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

The festival’s highlight is a sidewalk pet parade at 10 a.m. with TV film star Benji as grand marshal. The festival will include eight judged pet contests, an adoption fair, vendor booths, pet portrait painting and lots more.

The fun will take place at the intersection of Silverado Street and the 7700 block of Herschel Avenue, which will be partially closed during the festivities.

Promote La Jolla, the Village business district, is sponsoring the festival.

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Event chairwoman Nancy Warwick said it’s a unique occasion that fits perfectly with the community.

“We’re unusual in the degree that we’re dog-friendly, with our restaurants and stores providing goodie treats and water bowls,” she said last week. “We saw this as something that would appeal not only to our residents but to people throughout San Diego who would enjoy coming here with their pets.”

Warwick added that the pet fest is actually a revival of an event held long ago in La Jolla. “The second annual pooch parade was held on the 15th of May in 1938,” she said. “They had contests--tiniest and biggest dogs, longest tail, etc.”

The cost to enter the pet parade is $25, or $45 for a gift bag with an event T-shirt and other goodies.

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Proceeds will benefit SNAP, the Spay Neuter Action Project, which seeks to eliminate pet homelessness and overpopulation through education and by facilitating spaying/neutering.

“It’s a great philanthropic effort by the La Jolla community on behalf of the animals and people across our county,” said La Jollan Candy Schumann, SNAP volunteer executive director. “SNAP is spreading the message about the immense need for an affordable, high-volume pet spay/neuter clinic. I am extremely proud of my town for leading the way.”

Janet McCulley, co-owner of Muttropolis pet boutique, will be videotaping the event for cable TV’s “Animal Planet.”

“I’m their pet trendologist,” she said, “and the footage I’m filming will be posted on their Web site, www.animalplanet.com.”

For more information, visit

www.snap-sandiego.org

.