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updated: 7/6/2011 10:02 AM

Furry, feathered and scaled friends welcome at pet parade

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By Samantha Kiesel

It doesn't matter if you have a dog, cat, chicken or lizard -- all animals are welcome at the Windmill City Festival's pet parade.

The parade is for 10 a.m. Saturday, July 9 in downtown Batavia. Participants can register their pets from 9:15-9:50 a.m. in front of the main stage. Pets will first be judged and could win in categories such as best trick, fastest wagging tail, most unusual pet or best costume.

They will then have a chance to walk down the Batavia bridge before the results and prizes are awarded.

The crowd won't only be entertained by the pets, but also by the commentary of Craig Foltos, master of ceremonies.

"I love seeing people with their pets. People are very passionate about their pets," Foltos of Batavia said. "All the pets are so important to the kids. It's so fun."

Foltos has been the master of ceremonies for the parade for the past 11 years.

After watching the parade for so many years, Foltos has seen his share of weird pets like chickens. He said the frogs and turtles are interesting, but the chickens have names and the owners actually play with them, which is fun to watch.

What Foltos loves most about the pet parade is seeing people animated with their pets.

"Have you ever seen an old person with a pet?" Foltos asked. "It's like you see them young again. I love it."