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Going Green: Alexandria’s Annual Fun Dog Show Returns March 7, All Invited

All are invited to participate in the Annual Fun Dog Show. (Photo: Dirty Paws Photography)

ALEXANDRIA, VA – What happens when you combine a beautiful spring day, dozens of excited pups and a whole lot of green?  It’s the annual Fun Dog Show, the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria’s (AWLA) and Ballyshaners’ most festive animal event of the season!

On March 7, the AWLA invites the area’s most spirited pups to don their favorite costumes on-stage in Old Town’s Market Square to compete for the titles of “Most St. Paddy’s Spirit,” “Best Human/Canine Look-Alike” and “Most Creative Costume.”

2019 Fun Dog Show. (Photo: Shelley Castle Photography)


The Fun Dog Show precedes the Ballyshaners’ St. Patrick’s Day parade, an annual event that brings thousands of celebratory groups and spectators to the heart of Old Town Alexandria.  The AWLA is honored to once again kick off the parade following the Fun Dog Show, with adopters, friends and all other animal lovers welcome to join, with or without their canine companions.  March participants will meet at the intersection of King and St. Asaph streets at 12 p.m. to start the parade.

The 2020 Fun Dog Show is sponsored by premiere sponsor McEnearney Associates.

2019 Fun Dog Show. (Photo: Shelley Castle Photography)

“The Fun Dog Show certainly lives up to its name every year,” said AWLA Executive Director Stella Hanly.  “From the vendors showing off the latest in animal toys and treats to the outstanding creative costumes of the participants, the Fun Dog Show is a great way to start the season and to get the audience excited for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.”

Bobby Mahoney to Emcee

This year’s Dog Show will be hosted by popular Alexandria business owner, animal lover and McEnearney realtor Bobby Mahoney.  “The Animal Welfare League is an amazing organization that McEnearney Associates is so proud to support. McEnearney is excited to expand our community involvement to include our furry best friends. We’re honored to host this year’s event and look forward to all the fun and laughter the Fun Dog Show brings to Alexandria!”

The Fun Dog Show always draws a crowd and plenty of fun vendors on the same day as he St. Patrick’s Day Parade. (Photo: Mary Wadland)

The Fun Dog Show begins at 11 a.m. on Old Town’s Market Square, but animal-friendly exhibitors will be on-site as early as 10:30, and attendance is free to spectators.  Advance registration for dogs participating in the Fun Dog Show is $25 per category, and pets may register for any or all of the three costume categories. Winners of each category will be determined by audience applause.

The categories are a blast at the Fun Dog Show. (Photo: Mary Wadland)

Registration is open now at and will also be available on-site on March 7 for $30 as long as space is available.  For the safety of all attendees, both human and canine, all dogs must be on non-extendable leashes that are six feet or shorter.  Dogs will not be allowed on Market Square until 10:30, once the Old Town Farmers’ Market has ended.  While the AWLA loves all animals, the Fun Dog Show is only appropriate for dogs who are comfortable with crowds and other dogs.

Vendor Tents Available

People interested in hosting an exhibition tent at the 2020 Fun Dog Show should email [email protected].

For more information about the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, visit

The Fun Dog Show will be held rain or shine.


Mary Wadland

Mary Wadland is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of The Zebra Press, founded by her in 2010. Originally from Delray Beach, Florida, Mary is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and has lived and worked in the Alexandria publishing community since 1987.

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