Parade of Puppies Kicks Off Hermantown Summerfest

Annual Hermantown Pet Parade Held at City Hall.

HERMANTOWN, Minn.- Summerfest kicked off in Hermantown Wednesday, with a parade full of paws.

The Summerfest Pet Parade continued its longstanding tradition outside Hermantown City Hall.

“I think it’s just a lot of silliness, a lot of fun, and who doesn’t love their pets?” said emcee for the event, Rob Hofmann. “It’s an opportunity to share–” some barks interrupt–“and there’s one now!”

The grounds of City Hall were used for a very different, but equally important community event featuring some very adorable guests.

“Anyone in the community that wants to bring out their dog, their cat, we’ve had rabbits, we’ve had roosters and chickens, we’ve had goats,” Hofmann said.

Just dogs came out this year, but you might not be able to tell. Because some are dressed in their best costumes.

Terry Carlson shows off her dog, dressed in an orange and yellow outfit that many in the Northland are used to seeing this season.

“This is Luca, he’s a construction worker.”

“And he is half-boxer and half french Mastiff.”

The furry friends and some of their humans dress up in their best costumes for the big parade–of about 50 feet.

They then perform tricks for a panel of judges, this year visiting from UMD.

“My roommate actually knows the woman in charge, so it was kind of through her that we all sort of agreed to it and said we’d be here,” said first-time judge Valerie Bombard.

Of course, the judges try their best to remain unbiased. But Bombard is here to see her favorites.

“All the puppies. Actually the pugs and the lab. But every dog is so cute, I’m so excited.”

But in case the cuteness was too much, it’s not a big deal. Because everyone wins.

“We have categories, countless categories and to be quite frank, every pet that enters in that parade wins some kind of prize and some kind of trophy,” Hofmann said. “So nobody goes home a loser.”

Even though these dogs are showcasing tricks and serving their best looks, they can get a little excited. “Sometimes we get little potty accidents, we tend to ignore those,” said Hofmann.

The pageant of puppies brings the community out to bond together.

“Hermantown’s a great community,” Carlson said. “Everybody comes out for everything all the time. The kids love it, it’s just a fun time.”

It also gives people from neighboring areas the chance to see what Hermantown is doing this summer.

“I didn’t know much about Hermantown so it’s kind of exciting to see what they’re up to this summer,” Bombard said. “To get to see what summer fest is and what it’s all about. I’m really excited to see what it has to offer.”

Summerfest continues through Sunday, featuring the Edgewood County Fair tomorrow and the Fran Hubert Memorial Summerfest Parade on Saturday.


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