KANAB — Three events converged in Kane County Saturday in celebration of nature, the National Park Service and greyhounds.
Portions of Kanab’s Center and Main streets were shut down Saturday, and spectators watched and cheered as various participants — including a whole gaggle of costumed greyhounds and their humans — paraded down the thoroughfare. It was all part of the annual “Amazing Earthfest”, the annual “Greyhound Gathering”, and the National Park Service’s 100th birthday celebration, all rolled into one.
“The National Park Service is a hundred years old, and we are actually celebrating throughout the country,” Lola Henio, park ranger for the National Park Service, said.
Henio was in attendance at the event along with Kari Carlisle, of the Western National Parks Association, who also brought some canine friends along.
“We’ve actually been here all week for Earthfest,” Carlisle said. “Since I have greyhounds, we stuck around for the Greyhound Gathering.”
One of Carlisle’s greyhounds, a lovable fellow named Simon, helped out his human companions by carrying a doggy saddle-pack full of National Park Service brochures for attendees to pick up during the parade.
In addition to commemorating the National Park Service’s 100th birthday, Saturday’s events also marked the conclusion of this year’s Amazing Earthfest, an educational festival that celebrates national and state parks, forests, monuments and the public lands of the Colorado Plateau.
National Park Service centennial celebrations will be taking place nationwide throughout the year, Henio said. The Park Service will officially turn 100 on Aug. 25, according to information from the National Park Service website.
The Greyhound Gathering, which celebrated its 14th event this year, is an annual celebration for greyhounds and the humans who love and rescue them.
“They’re very laidback dogs,” said Carole Cascella of Buckeye, Arizona, a greyhound owner who attended the Greyhound Gathering for the first time this year. “They’re couch potatoes – 40-mile-an-hour couch potatoes.”
At the conclusion of the parade, Center Street reopened and the festive collection of hounds, park rangers, onlookers and other attendees commenced the annual Greyhound Gathering costume parade, during which greyhound owners and their pets sashayed across a stage clad in creative costumes.
The Greyhound Gathering concludes Sunday with a lineup of events for registered attendees, including a live auction, awards and the annual “Blur of Fur” race.
- Additional information about the National Parks Service centennial celebration can be found here.
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