Wayne Kelly Memorial Top Dog Parade draws hundreds

Pups 4 Partners - Guide Dogs for the Blind (above) and Keg Dog (below), were among those humans and dogs who participated in the Top Dog Parade on March 11.

Ellis Robinson of East Wenatchee gets to know one of the many dogs at Top Dog Parade on March 11. Top left, a Giant Leprechaun marches in the parade.


Chelan Mayor Mike Cooney donned a kilt, waved an Irish flag and joined the fun as hundreds of onlookers from around the state gathered to watch the annual Wayne Kelly Top Dog Parade, Saturday, March 11.

Sponsored by Kelly's Ace Hardware and the Lake Chelan Lions Club, this year's festivities escaped the raindrops and managed to bring a ray of sunshine to the faces of all those involved, even the featured four-legged stars of the show who strutted their stuff without hardly a bite or bark.

A large contingent of "pro new hospital" marchers, a firefighters fife and drum detachment from King County and a group of guide dog advocates made this years parade special in its own way.

"I heard about this from a friend and thought it was a dog show," said Ellis Robinson of East Wenatchee. I was really happy I came to see for myself. It was a lot of fun and worth the drive."

Local businesses seemed to also enjoy the extra revenue from the crowds, many of whom came from the west-side of the mountains.

Cooney's "The Vogue" cafe was bustling with coffee drinkers.

The Lions Club showed their colors and several other non-profits marched with banners held high, some on horses, some in wagons, some on trucks.

One out of towner said she liked this event even better than the Winterfest. Several locals agreed.

Another year of family fun giving Chelan a reason to paws and turn green with the spirit of the Irish and in lasting tribute to Wayne Kelly, dog lover and all-around good guy.

After 70 years among us, Kelly passed in 1991, but before he left us for "greener pastures" he was extremely active in the life of the Chelan community. Kelly served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He bought the hardware store in 1958. He was a member of St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Rotary, Veteran of Foreign Wars Post 6853, Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce, Chelan Business Association, Chelan Eagles, Blue Chelan Inc., Chelan Sportsmen's Council, and Chelan Falls Rod and Gun Club. He had also served on the Lake Chelan Community Hospital Board of Directors.

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