TRAVERSE CITY — Dogs, cats, guinea pigs, turtles — even a snake — showed up to strut and slither their stuff at the annual Cherry Festival Pet Show at F & M Park.
Cherry Festival Queen candidates didn't shy from rain-threatening clouds and lined the stage to receive puppy licks as furry contestants strode past. Gusty winds and slight sprinkles didn’t stop kids and their pets from taking to the stage in themed outfits as they competed for top awards in several pet categories.
Traverse City resident Rachel Dunphey, 10, came with her two Ragdoll cats dressed as a bride and groom to enter for the Best Dressed competition. Along with her ring-bearer brother Jake and her flower-girl sister Emily, she pulled the cats behind her in a decked-out wagon fit for newlyweds.
And her cats remained quite calm, considering the weather, costumes and crowds.
“They’ve been pretty good because they can sit in the wagon and don’t have to walk,” Rachel said.
Kayla Fitzgerald, 9, and also from Traverse City, came with her English Bulldog, Luna. Kayla and Luna were clad in matching neon blue dresses with camouflage, matching pink-painted nails and diamond-studded sunglasses, and took the first place award for the Pet and Owner Look Alike contest.
“I was really excited because I’ve never done this before and I wanted to win first place,” Kayla said after accepting her prize.
Top placements for Most Unusual, Best Dressed, Ugliest Mutt, Pet Owner Look Alike, Fattest Cat, and Best Ensemble took home a plaque and basket full of dog treats and toys from the D.O.G. Bakery on West Front Street.