On Monday afternoon, over 30 dogs belonging to Kenyon students, staff and other Gambier community members gathered on Middle Path to show off their Halloween costumes and enjoy tasty treats in Epsilon Delta Mu’s (EDM) Halloween Dog Parade. Hundreds of students lined Middle Path to watch the dogs — who were dressed in costumes ranging from lobsters to dinosaurs to superheroes — proceed from downtown Gambier to Old Kenyon, stopping for dog treats and copious amounts of petting. Following the procession, Professor of Music Benjamin Locke, Director of First Year Experience Don Miller and Associate Professor of Psychology Andrew Engell gave out awards to dogs including “Best Dressed,” “Best Wag” and “Looks Most Like Owner.”
It was EDM’s second time hosting the Dog Parade, which was a success in the spring 2022 semester. This time, they turned the event into a fundraiser, selling dog treats and candy in Peirce in the days leading up to Halloween. They raised almost $500 for the Dogs of Knox Fund, which supports the dogs of the Knox County Animal Shelter and is entirely funded by donations.
“It brought us all so much joy to support a great cause alongside our heartwarming event. It was so [exciting] to see everyone’s faces light up as over 30 dogs processed down Middle Path,” EDM Vice President Libby Foley ’24 wrote in an email to the Collegian.
Seven lucky dogs were awarded certificates for their accomplishments. It was the second EDM Dog Parade win for Fafner, the dog of Dance, Drama and Film Technical Director Christopher Ellsworth ’96. Last year, he won “Best Name;” this year, the judges awarded him “Best Bark.”
“I’m sorry to say neither of our dogs were in a costume. Wrestling two 60-pound plus dogs into costumes didn’t seem like it would be a fun time, so we didn’t even try,” Ellsworth wrote in an email to the Collegian.
This year, the “Best Name” award went to 10-week-old pug Blueberry Cobbler — “Blue” for short. Her owner, Visiting Assistant Professor of Studio Art Charlotte Woolf, said that Blue’s name and that of her sister, Peach Cobbler, were inspired by her grandmother’s cobbler recipe.
“Blue had a blast dressing up as a bumble bee (and me as a flower), eating the most treats she’s ever had and walking on Middle Path for the first time. Blue even took a little Middle Path tumble, so now she is a true Kenyon dog,” Woolf wrote in an email to the Collegian.
Vice President of Student Affairs Celestino Limas thought that the parade was a great opportunity to bring Gambier residents together. “There’s something wonderful about pets, especially for students, when a lot of you have them at home, and you’re maybe missing them. It’s just one more way, I think, to feel a little bit more connected to the community,” Limas said.
Acting President Jeff Bowman also enjoyed the event. “There were a lot of people out there really enjoying themselves, and I thought there were a lot of really strong dogs out there. I thought there was a really good canine presence.”