2020 marks the 4th year of the Lents Community Pet Parade – which has gone virtual! We are now doing a Pet Photo Party!
We’re so excited at the growing success, partnership, and impact of this neighborhood event. We love welcoming more animals, neighbors, and visitors!!
The story that sparked this Pet Parade began with a dream to contribute to a better world.
“Our family was getting ready to celebrate our daughter’s first birthday and it gave us the opportunity to think about the kind of experience we wanted her to grow up with. She was born in 2016 during a tumultous time where it became more important than ever to stand for inclusivity and justice. We chose to use the occasion of her first birthday as an invitation for neighbors to come together around the values of kindness, service, compassion and inclusive friendship. We want all children to grow up in an environment of solidarity and support. We were inspired by our daughter’s delight in all animals and that led to the vision of doing the event as a pet parade. There was no corporate sponsorship, no agenda, and no committees – just an idea that maybe we could do one thing to make a positive difference, for our daughter and for our community.”
– Kelly & Tony Grace
Since that first year we held a parade in 2017, so much support has come together to make this event possible and continue! Starting with an initial community grant by the East Portland Neighborhood Office, many local partners and individual community members have rallied around the Lents Community Pet Parade. Check out the Neighborhood Partners page to see a list of past & present supporters.
The second year in 2018 brought the addition of more partners and an emphasis on nurturing a therapeutic experience for participants. Mental Health counselors volunteered their presence at activities and uplifted the role therapeutic supports can provide in strengthening our community. The grand marshals and stars of the parade were 2 service animals – therapy llamas! Prioritizing mental health and highlighting the positive impact from therapeutic animals and experiences continues to be a special focus of the parade today.
The third year in 2019 kicked off a partnership with the Lents International Farmers Market on the first day of the season. The grad marshals were a pair of beautiful service animals – mini horses! The parade route expanded and more local partners and organizations came together to uplift the community.
Now in 2020, we have continued the tradition but moved the event entirely online in light of COVID-19.
At a time when solidarity in the local community is needed more than ever, we continue to come together to share in a common joy and love for animals, connect through playful fun, learn about helpful resources and welcome each other as neighbors.
Here’s to carrying on the tradition and adding even more celebratory history to the unique, diverse and beautiful Lents neighborhood of Portland.
We are for each other and we’re in this together.