Looking for something safe and fun to do with your pup on Independence Day? Check out these 20 pet-friendly July 4th celebrations. These events take place during daylight hours, so your canine compatriot can enjoy them without worrying about fireworks. Plus, getting him out and about is one of our pet tips for July 4th. This year, let Fido don his best red, white and blue outfit and participate in one of these patriotic pawties around the country!
1. Krewe of Barkus in the July 4th Parade
Eureka Springs, AR - Let your mutt stretch his patriotic paws in the Ozarks with the Krewe of Barkus in this free Independence Day parade. Bring Fido to the Eureka Springs Post Office lawn on Spring Street at 9:30 a.m. to get ready for the 10 a.m. kickoff. Go all out donning your dog in red, white and blue for the costume contest!
2. 4th of July Mutt Strutt
Pinetop-Lakeside, AZ - If your dog is afraid of loud noises, bring him to Pinetop-Lakeside’s fireworks-free celebration. The summer resort town hosts a 5K Mutt Strutt, Pooch Parade & Costume Contest, a Best Pet-Trick Contest, a Pet/Owner Lookalike Contest, a Best Tail Wag Contest, and a Biggest/Smallest Dog Contest. The event is free but there is a $5 wristband fee if you want Fido to compete in any of the competitions.
3. Avila Beach Annual 4th of July Pancake Breakfast & Doggie Parade
Avila Beach, CA - Combine carbs and cardio in San Luis Obispo County at the Pancake Breakfast and Doggie Parade. The breakfast isn’t pet-friendly, but there will be tables outside with dog sitters available to watch your pup while you eat. The event also includes a costume contest, so make sure Fido is dressed to impress! Tickets for the breakfast are $7 for adults and $3 for children 6 and under. The doggie parade and costume contest are free, but donations are appreciated.
4. 4th of July Family & Dog Parade
Foster City, CA - Silicon Valley's free Independence Day event combines a family parade and dog show into one grand pawty. Decorate your wagons, bikes and your furry friend in stars and stripes, and enter your pup into a contest. Categories include Most Patriotic, Most Handsome Male, Most Beautiful Female, and (our favorite) Fastest Eater. The parade starts at 9:30 a.m. at the William E. Walker Recreation Center.
5. Town of Moraga 4th of July Celebration and Dog Parade
Moraga, CA - This pupular San Francisco Bay Area parade will be held on July 4th at 9:30 a.m. at the Moraga Commons. Stop by the bandshell at 8:45 a.m. to register your dog. All participants receive a special award and a treat. Admission is free.
6. Eastview Park’s 4th of July Bark Party
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA - If you're in the Los Angeles area, dress up your four-legged friends and bring them out to strut their stuff at the Eastview Dog Park's July 4th Bark Party. There will be games, activities, crafts, photo booths, giveaways and a dog parade. Bring pet food, toys and blanket donations for a local shelter to receive a raffle ticket for prizes. The event starts at 10 a.m. and ends at noon. Admission is free.
7. Spirit of the Fourth Patriotic Pet Contest
San Diego, CA - Want to show off your four-legged friend? Bring Fido to the Patriotic Pet Contest in Webb Park, part of Rancho Bernardo’s Spirit of the Fourth. Dogs, rabbits and even birds show off their red, white and blue clothes and accessories during this adorable show. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. and the contest begins at 9:30 a.m. All pets who participate will receive a treat, and prizes will be awarded to the winners in several patriotic categories.
8. The HRCA July 4th Family Bike and Pet Parade
Littleton, CO - Start your day in a celebratory way at this pet parade in the Denver area. Participants ride, strut or stroll along the parade route from Hepburn to the Town Center South parking lot. The free event starts at 8:45 a.m.
9. The Fourth of July Four-Legged Fun Run
Windsor, CO - This dog-friendly race around Windsor Lake begins at 8 a.m. on the 4th, with registration starting at 7 a.m. The $20 entry fee includes a Fun Run t-shirt, and you can score a $5 discount if you pre-register by 8 a.m. on July 3. Fido runs for free.
10. Tampa Red, White & Blue Festival
Tampa, FL - Wear your patriotic colors to this free, dog-friendly 4th of July festival. The event features a best-dressed contest, food, live music, and arts and crafts. Proceeds benefit community organizations including Sunstate Greyhound Adoptions, which finds homes for retired greyhounds. The Tampa Red, White & Blue Festival takes place from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m at Grand Central at Kennedy Channelside, 1120 E Kennedy Boulevard.
11. Pittsburg July 4 Celebration's Pride of Pets Dog Show
Pittsburg, KS - Enter your pooch in the Pride of Pets Dog Show at 10 a.m. during the city's official July 4 celebration. Dogs can compete for the titles of Most Butch, Best Celebrity Look-Alike, Most Glamorous, Most Adorable, Most Obedient and Terrific Pet Tricks. Registration fees are $2 per category or $5 for three categories. Participants must register by 9:30 a.m. on July 4 at the information booth inside Lincoln Park Pavilion #3.
12. AVAM's July 4th Visionary Pets On Parade
Baltimore, MD - Bring Fido to the American Visionary Art Museum to commemorate the 4th of July at this visionary parade, which also includes contests, a talent show and a game of musical chairs just for pets. Trophies are awarded for most patriotic pets and best costume, as well as more unique categories like Most Visionary Pet and Least Likely to Succeed as a Pet. The free event starts at 9:30 a.m., and water and waste bags are provided.
13. Ludington’s Freedom Festival Children & Pet Parade
Ludington, MI - Celebrate Independence Day Eve on the shores of Lake Michigan with a pet parade hosted by the Ludington Area Jaycees. Salute the stars and stripes starting at 6 p.m. on July 3rd at Ferry and Loomis Streets in downtown Ludington. Admission and participation are free.
14. Bryson City's 4th of July Freedom Fest and “Strut Your Mutt” Pet Show / Contest
Bryson City, NC - Give a pet-friendly salute to our great nation at Freedom Fest in this small town in the Great Smoky Mountains. Enter your best friend in the Strut Your Mutt Pet Show and Contest, where Fido can win a ribbon in categories such as Best Tail Wag and Looks Most Like Owner. The dog show starts at 10:30 a.m. in Riverfront Park. Admission is free.
15. All-American 4th of July & Patriotic Pet Contest
Franklin, NC - This patriotic pet competition in a small town within the Nantahala National Forest begins with a dog-friendly parade at 10 a.m. at Franklin Town Hall. Everyone is invited to participate! Wear your colors and walk or drive down Main Street. Following the parade, enter Fido in the Patriotic Pet Contest at 10:30 a.m. There is no fee for this fun-for-the-whole-family event.
16. Patriotic Pooch Parade
North Wildwood, NJ -Jersey Shore pups can prance in procession through the Wildwoods at the Patriotic Pooch Parade. Prizes will be awarded for the best-dressed dogs. Check-in for participants is at 8:15 a.m. at Bill Henfey Park, and the parade starts at 9 a.m. To register your pup in the parade, call (609) 522-2955. This is a free event.
17. July 4th Pet Parade & Old Fashioned Festival
Bend, OR - The town of Bend invites your pooch to watch or march in its annual pet parade through downtown. Friendly dogs and kids of all ages are welcome to dress up in a patriotic costume and participate. Wagons, floats, bikes and trikes are allowed, or simply walk Fido on a leash. The free event takes place from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
18. Fireworks-Free Fourth of July Celebration
Cannon Beach, OR - This quaint Oregon town’s July 4 festivities are perfect for dogs who are sensitive to loud noises. Fido will love the Independence Day parade honoring the town’s veterans, mainly because participants throw candy and dog treats to spectators and their canine companions. The parade starts at 11 a.m. and features flag-waving Fidos, classic cars and homemade floats. As a bonus, your pooch gets to spend the day on Cannon Beach, one of the most dog-friendly beaches on the West Coast. The event is free, but donations are appreciated.
19. Bandera Annual Fourth of July Pet Parade
Bandera, TX - Dogs are welcome at the annual Independence Day pet parade in this San Antonio suburb. The event is sponsored by the Cowboy Capital Pet Assistance League and welcomes all pets (think horses, turtles, birds, cats, and of course, dogs) for free. Humans with no pets are even encouraged to get creative and dress up as one! Register your furry friend at 9 a.m. Judging begins at 9:30 and the parade starts at 10.
20. Bellevue Four on the 4th Dog Jog & Walk
Bellevue, WA - Your dog will love getting his run on at the Four on the 4th Jog & Walk, an annual, non-competitive 4k event to benefit the Seattle Humane Society. The run begins at 7:30 a.m. in Downtown Bellevue. Pawty at the post-race celebration in Ashwood Playfield, where Fido can compete in a pet costume contest, get a souvenir pic in a photo booth, and wag his tail to live music. All walkers and runners receive a t-shirt, race bib and a swag bag full of treats for two- and four-legged participants. Registration fees are $20 for an individual or $30 for a pair. Dogs participate for free.