events, rescues

Luau Love for the 3rd Annual Pensacola Paw-di Gras!

Bow-wow-WOW! Downtown Pensacola was turned into a tail-wagging soirée this past weekend courtesy of the 3rd Annual Paw-di Gras hosted by WolfGang Pensacola, LLC in collaboration with sponsors Perfect Plain Brewery & Hanto + Clark General Contractors. It’s like Mardi-gras, but with more fur and less feathers! And what makes it even better is all proceeds benefited the Escambia County Department of Animal Welfare, making it a party with a purpose.

WolfGang first brought this event to Pensacola in 2021 and it took off like a greyhound and has been growing ever since, drawing in a pack of an estimated 4k people & pups this time around. Imagine 60+ local vendors, food trucks, rescues, and shelters converging for the grandest Paw-di Gras extravaganza yet. It was like a canine carnival, and I was honored that Hoff House Pet Photography was asked to be the official photographer this year. Talk about a dog photographer’s dream, cute pups every way you turn. I couldn’t click fast enough!

And, oh, did I mention the theme? This year, we took a tropical detour with a Luau vibe. Despite the less-than-tropical weather this past week, the rain gods cut us some slack, giving way to a paw-some day of leg-stretching, mingling, and admiring adorable Luau-themed costumes. These folks really know how to take a theme and run with it!

Now, what goes down at Pawdi-gras you ask? Furry shenanigans galore! The day kicked off at 11 am with time to indulge in doggy games, yummy food, and maybe even a craft beer before the East Bay Dog Treat Walk at 11:45 am. My friends over at East Bay Dog Spot are amazing positive only dog trainers and provided tons of fun & treats in this fun game!

At 12:20 pm, the spotlight shifted to the Adopt Me Runway Show, featuring adorable furballs from ECAS, Amazing Grace Bully Rescue, The Joy Committee, Northwest FL Great Dane Rescue, & SRCAS, strutting their stuff in search of forever homes. Seriously, who could resist adopting these cuties?

Post-runway, it was selfie time in the designated photo-op area, leading up to the 1 pm costume contest. I’m so glad I wasn’t on that judges panel; the competition was hotter than a Caribbean breeze!

Paw-di Gras wouldn’t be complete without a Blessing of the Pets, a heartfelt Prayer lead by Brittany Taylor. Then, at 2:30 pm, the grand PAW-rade took center stage, with over 300 pups strutting their stuff down the one mile parade route in Downtown Pensacola. Parade participants were asked to make a small donation to join the walk, this donation along with other event activities all in all raised over $20,000 for the Escambia County Department of Animal Welfare.

Speaking of donations, Kudos to the Krewe of Hip Huggers who teamed up again this year to challenge the community to fill their float with shelter needs such as dog food, cat food, toys, blankets, bowels, treats, & so much more! This Krewe knows how to make an impact in the community!

By 4pm not only was I pooped out but also out of poop bags so it was time to pack up the camera and head home to rest my barking dogs. If you don’t already follow me on FB or IG join me now so you can keep up with all the photos I’ll be sharing. You might even see you & your pooch!

And if you missed the fun this year, fear not – details for the 4th Annual Pawdi-Gras are on the horizon!

A massive aloha to the vendors & sponsors who made this tropical tail-wagging extravaganza a sun-soaked success!

Wags & wiggles,
Jess

Group of Paw-di Gras Parade participants