Fourth of July parade set for pooch pageantry

Community affairs department to plan inaugural dog parade, touch-a-truck event

Monroe Township is taking the dog days of summer head on, literally.

This Fourth of July, the community affairs department is putting together the inaugural dog parade. Director of Community Affairs Brandee Derieux said the concept for a pooch parade stemmed from a conversation with Mayor Rich DiLucia.

“He wants to start doing more for the residents in the township,” she said. “He wants to let them know how much he appreciates them. It shouldn’t just be one day a year, it should be a few days a year.”

The two share a love of dogs, which led Derieux down a rabbit hole of thoughts until she inevitably came up with the idea for a “Patriotic Pup Parade.” The parade will be held at a T-ball field behind the Pfeiffer Community Center at 11 a.m. on July 4. The T-ball field will play a big part as it will protect the dog’s paws from the hot asphalt.

Dogs of all shapes and sizes are welcome – the only prerequisite is to fill out an entry form that can be found online at mtprnj.org or filled out in person at the Pfeiffer Community Center. The parade is free to enter. At the time of publication, Derieux said 14 dogs have registered.

Derieux said there will be prizes awarded for the best patriotic dressed pup, cutest pup, ugliest pup, best trick and even best guest for out-of-town pooches. Costumes don’t need to be too extravagant either, according to Derieux. An Old Glory bandana or star spangled tutu will do the trick.

“This right here gives people a chance to meet other people in the area,” Derieux said of the inaugural parade. “It’s an ideal way for people to meet each other.”

A successful event in the eyes of the planner is having people show up to the event and having a good time.

“I think it’s something worth coming to,” Derieux said. “Success to me isn’t always shown by numbers, it’s the quality of what you put into it.”

While the pooch parade is set for the morning, there will be a fireworks display at Williamstown High School and Owens Park that evening. The show will start at dusk.

Switching gears, community affairs has a safety event scheduled for June 28 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Pfeiffer Center, the inaugural “Touch a Truck” event.

Because June is “safety awareness month,” the township is partnered with Walmart to put together a fun event for the whole family. Cecil Fire Co. will have its new fire truck on display in addition to their forest ranger and military truck. Derieux added a trash truck, dump truck, backhoe and electric car will be there as well. In addition, the township’s K-9 unit will perform a demonstration.

This, like the dog parade, is a free event. The only cost associated is the selling of hot dogs that will be sold for two for $1.

The event will also feature a raffle that will award four lucky winners a new bicycle and safety gear.

For more information about any events, call (856) 728-9840 or (856) 728-9841, visit mtprnj.org, or stop by the Pfeiffer Center located on the corner of Main Street and Blue Bell Road.