Metro-East Living

Annual pet parade in Belleville promises to be a howling good time

A lazy blue-eyed dog in a tutu is one of the things you might see at the annual Howl’oween Parade Oct. 28 in Belleville.
A lazy blue-eyed dog in a tutu is one of the things you might see at the annual Howl’oween Parade Oct. 28 in Belleville. Provided

I know it was just a dream. Yet it was so real I could smell the dog food on their breaths. Or maybe that was my own breath. I spent extra time gargling just in case.

“I dreamt a brigade of wiener dogs was marching down the streets of Belleville,” I told my husband, Mark, over breakfast.

“Ahhh, so that’s why you were barking in your sleep,” he said. “Michelle, this pet parade thing has gone to your head!”

In the past, the Belleville Area Humane Society Howl’oween Pet Parade has included everything from Chihuahuas dressed as chalupas to Great Danes donning hot pink tutus.

This year, BAHS hopes to include a “Wiener Dog Brigade.” We are looking for a few good wieners to help make this happen. If all goes as planned, these decked-out dachshunds will walk behind a “Hallow Wienies” banner, while “Git Along Little Doggies” blasts from a boom box.

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Michelle Schrader poses with Vegas, a standard poodle and previous parade costume contest winner. The dog is owned by Mikey Velazquez of Belleville. Provided

Lisa Brandon, of Belleville, plans to bring her long-haired dachshunds, Macy and Chloe, to the event. “They’re dressing as harem girls and going as ‘I Dream of Wienie,’” she said, proudly.

If you have a dog, this downtown Belleville parade is for you. Heck, if you have any pet at all. Two years ago, the lovely Molly McCoy, of Shiloh, showed up with a bearded dragon lizard on her shoulder. A pot-bellied pig wearing devil’s horns has also marched in the parade, alongside a pygmy goat sporting a cowboy costume.

All pets and their people are welcome. A $10 parade participation fee benefits the animals at the shelter.

Don’t have a pet? Just show up to watch. The parade will start marching down East Lincoln Street in Belleville at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28. A family-oriented block party, featuring vendors, food, music and activities for children, will run from noon to 4 p.m.

Ooops! Almost forgot to mention there will be a costume contest at the end of the parade route — and yours truly will be one of the judges. Lucky Dogs Barks and Recreation has generously signed on as the event’s premiere sponsor.

For more information or to sign up for the parade, go to or call the shelter at 618-235-3712.

See you there!

Michelle Meehan: