The city of Washington has designated the route for the annual Washington Town and Country Fair parade — along with the entire fairgrounds — as festival districts.
That means that no one is allowed to bring pets into those areas during designated times.
The Fair parade will be held Sunday, July 29, beginning at 3 p.m.
For that event the festival district designation will include Front Street, from High Street to Jefferson Street; Jefferson, from Front to Fifth; Fifth, from Jefferson west to High Street; and High, from Fifth to Front.
The restriction only applies to public property. Residents keeping pets on their property are not affected.
For the party after the Fair Parade, the designated festival district is bounded by Front, Olive, West Third, and Jefferson streets and is in effect between 3 p.m. and midnight.
During the annual Washington Fair, which runs from Wednesday, Aug. 1, through Sunday, Aug. 5, the entire fairgrounds will be designated a festival district.
Washington Police Chief Ken Hahn said the designation is necessary to help insure the safety of all citizens.
“In large crowds dogs and other animals can get quite nervous. This can cause a pet to bite someone whether it is intentional or not,” Hahn said.
“We had that very thing happen at a past downtown event. Well-meaning people may think their pet wouldn’t be capable of such a thing, but in large crowds it becomes almost instinctive. Besides, some people simply aren’t animal lovers and don’t like pets being so close to them,” Hahn said.
Exceptions to the ordinance are livestock, animals in a parade, service animals such as seeing-eye dogs, and police animals like canine patrol. People who violate this directive will first be asked to remove their pet from the designated area. If they refuse, they will be charged with violating the ordinance which is punishable by up to a $500 fine and/or 90 days in jail, Hahn said.