Pooch parade brings tacos, pumpkins, poultry to downtown Aiken

Oct. 31—Poultry, lions, pumpkins, tacos, hot dogs, superheroes and at least one "tomato thief" were part of a slow-moving procession along Laurens Street on Saturday afternoon, with Downtown Dog's annual Halloween parade drawing dozens of two-, three- and four-legged participants.

This year's event had 78 registered dogs in action. Top honors went to local artist Siva Aiken (decked out as Colonel Sanders) for her quintet of costumed canines — three chickens (Emmylou Soggybottom, Sister Sorella of Immaculate Deception and Tillie-rye Hogwallop) and two chicken tenders (Zeppi-Zep and Seorji Nelson). One of Aiken's friends, Ryan Parker, in chicken attire, helped keep the KFC crew focused and heading in the right direction.

"This is our seventh year here, and we've done it every year," said Sheri Scarborough, co-owner of Downtown Dog. "A lot of creativity" was evident, she added.

"I think after COVID, everybody's just so ready to get out and do something, and it makes sense to do it with your dog," said Scarborough, who also expressed thanks for the Aiken Department of Public Safety's support in providing protection in the form of one squad car at the procession's nose and another at the tail.