It’s that wonderful time of the year again – filled with joy, music, family, and furry friends. Animal Defenders SXM, in collaboration with Animal Welfare, used to organize free Christmas walks in town until COVID changed their plans. This year, the animal organisations have decided to bring back the holiday spirit with a Santa Boardwalk and an added twist – a costume contest for extra laughs. Save the date: December 10, from 4:00 to 6:00pm, on the Philipsburg Boardwalk. HO-HO-HO!
Wondering where to find the festive fun? Follow the green water bowls for the dogs in a straight line on the Boardwalk. To ensure a smooth experience, please pre-register by sending your name, and the name and age of your dog via WhatsApp to +1 721 5533116. Pay at the start, and you’ll receive your participant number. Kick off the festivities at 4:00pm at Walter Plantz Square – arrive 15 minutes early to register and get into the festive mood.
The parade concludes at St. Rose Arcade, where expert judges will distribute prizes. It’s all about life, love, and laughter, so let’s be silly and have some holiday fun.
The $5 donation per dog to participate will be used for vaccinations and Spectra tablets for the stray dogs we care for on St. Maarten. Exciting prizes await, including the best X-mas costume for the dog parade and a special prize for the best-dressed human Santa. You must be present to collect your prize, and there’s also a raffle with all proceeds benefiting stray animals in need.
Costumes for dogs and humans should follow the Christmas or Santa theme. Whether you buy a costume or make one yourself, get creative, keeping in mind the comfort and safety of your furry friend. Decorate a stroller, cart, or trolley with Christmas-themed fabric or gift-wrapping paper to give your dog a festive ride along the boardwalk.
For safety and to maintain a peaceful atmosphere, all dogs must be on a leash. The organisers have received inquiries about cats participating, and after careful consideration, they’ve decided to host a separate event for cats indoors in 2024. This ensures a fun and safe experience for everyone on the boardwalk as we celebrate the Year of the Dog in 2023.
If you feel your dog may be too nervous or aggressive, it’s best to let them stay relaxed at home. You know your furry friend best, and only you can decide if they are up for the parade. It is the hope of Animal Defenders SXM that all participants will be responsible pet caretakers during the parade. Let’s have a fantastic time with Santa parents, Santa doggies, onlookers, and supporters. HO-HO-HO!
Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays to all!