Cassie Nova and one of her four-legged babies at the 2014 Pooch Parade

Easter in the Park has been cancelled, but the ever-popular Pooch Parade is back on and is moving to Deep Ellum Arts Festival, Petropolitan owner Chris Watts told Dallas Voice today (Wednesday, March 11). Watts added that there is no fee to enter the Pooch Parade this year.

The Pooch Parade will take place on Easter Sunday at noon, at the Deep Ellum Dog Park, 2398 Commerce St. Pooches and their people will parade up Main Street and judging takes place at the intersection of Main and Malcolm X.

The Arts Festival takes place April 3-5 at 2800 Main St.

The Pooch Parade is “just such a great tradition, and so popular with so many people,” Watts said. “We had 220 entries in the Pooch Parade last year. And [moving the Pooch Parade over to be part of the Deep Ellum Arts Festival] is a great way for us to keep the event alive this year while we focus long-term on how to revamp the Pooch Parade and keep it going in the years to come.”

Beside being popular with pet owners who enjoyed getting to dress their dogs up in their Easter finery and show them off, animal activist Watts said Pooch Parade has also been vital for the pet rescue community.

“This is one of the few events that has really given the pet rescue community an opportunity to come together, and it has been very popular with rescue groups and pet-related vendors,” Watts said. “Last year, we had about 40 pet-related vendors and 22 pet rescue groups that participated. So this is a big deal for them, too, and we are glad we found a way to keep it going for them.”

Watts  and the Petropolitan staff have been in charge of the Pooch Parade and all pet-related vendors and pet rescue organizations taking part in Easter in the Park for several years. The rest of the Easter in the Park activities were coordinated by the Cedar Springs Merchants Association, which had to cancel the traditional event this year due to the rising costs of staging the event. CSMA had attempted to raise the $20,000 necessary to stage Easter in the Park with an online fundraising page, but were not able to get enough money pledged in time to pay for the necessary city permits and other expenses.

Watch Instant Tea here at for Pooch Parade updates, or check with Petropolitan.