Pooches on parade: Mutts ‘n Martinis evening set for March 29

Marco Eagle

Talk about raising the woof. One of Marco’s more popular end-of-season attractions takes place Wednesday at the Esplanade with the staging of the Greater Marco Family YMCA’s annual Marco’s Mutts and Martinis show.

Well, show off, actually. No matter the breed, size, shape, age or looks of local pet dogs, all are welcome to strut their stuff in assorted categories on the patio opposite CJ’s on the Bay.

Those categories include best in show, best dog in costume and best lookalike duo, while sideshows include a “bow wow boutique,” a dog photo booth, a big silent auction and a 50-50 raffle.

Chewie, a Shihtzu, and Norman Rameau came in matching WWI aviator outfits in 2016.

Additional money is raised through CJ’s donating half of the cost of martinis to the Y, hence the martinis part of the name.

“We have some great silent auction items,” said organizer Fritzi Holmes, who’s worked with a team of more than 30 volunteers for the past few months to nail down the organization of the show.

Among those items, she said, are a week in a Steamboat Springs (CO) condo, a cruise on the local yacht Moonbeam which recently completed an around the world trip, and a pin flag from the Master’s golf tournament signed by Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.

Although it’s a Marco event, Holmes is hoping the word gets out to dog owners from Naples as well.

“It’s nice for dog watching as well as people watching,” Holmes said of this, the third year that the Y is running Marco’s Mutts and Martinis. Money raised goes towards the Y’s outreach programs, specifically to assist deserving families with costs.

For more information on the Greater Marco Family YMCA’s assorted programs and activities for youth and adults, call 394-3144.

If you go

Shirley Walklett and Lilly were matching bunnies in 2016.

What: Marco’s Mutts and Martinis

When: 5 until 8 p.m., Wednesday, March 29

Where: CJ’s on the Bay at the Esplanade

Cost: $5 per attendee, entrants included. Kids under 12 and dogs free

Sign-up: On the day at a designated table

Attractions: Bow-wow boutique, silent auction, doggy photo booth, 50-50 raffle

Main rule: Dogs must be on leashes