The Pleasanton Fife & Drum Corps will lead tonight's First Wednesday street party, starting at 6 p.m. on Main Street.
Tonight's event is pays tribute to our four-legged friends and is appropriately themed "Dog Days of Summer." The Fife and Drum Corp, followed by the pooches, will kick off the parade at Abbie Street, proceeding north to the Pleasanton Hotel.
Jason Giaimo of the Young American Patriots Fife & Drum Corps said the parade is sponsored by the Tri-Valley Puppy Raisers and is a fundraiser for training guide dogs for the blind. The organization is expecting more than 200 families to march in the parade with their family dogs.
Also, police said there will be new street closures to accommodate the crowds.
Main Street will be closed from Del Valle Parkway to Old Bernal Avenue from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. There will also be no through traffic on Ray Street or Peters Avenue to Main Street. Traffic will be allowed on Peters and Ray for access to businesses located on those streets.
Pleasanton police officers will be located at each intersection to direct traffic.
Other changes also are planned.
A new family area at the north end of Main Street, in front of the Pleasanton Hotel, Main Street Brewery, Emilio's, Oasis and the Rose Hotel, which is why Main Street will be closed to Del Valle Parkway.
"We will not extend the booth space but are removing the family area out of the beer and wine area to the north end," said Alisha Perdue, PDA events coordinator. She hopes to provide live entertainment in the family area as well as other activities.
Another change is that the Beer & Wine Garden in the Round Table Pizza parking lot will no longer have seating. Plus no dogs will be allowed.
Pleasanton police suggested the "no animals policy' in the Beer & Wine Garden as it became more crowded each month, she explained, although dogs are still welcome at the rest of the event.
"We like downtown to be dog friendly," Perdue said, "but we were getting to the point where it was becoming dangerous for the animals."
Also some people became afraid if a dog barked, she noted. "We are trying to prevent anything from happening."
The featured band in the Beer and Wine Garden will be Public Eye playing rock 'n' roll hits from the '60s through today.
The Pooch Paraders will gather at 5 p.m. at Lions Wayside Park on First Street, and goodie bags will be given to the first 150 entries. The cost is $10 entry per category to benefit Tri-Valley Guide Dog Puppy Raisers.
Judging will be done at the park in seven categories: Most Creative Costume; Cute Enough As Is (naked pooch under 30 pounds); Best Team Outfit (human and pooch); Cute Enough As Is (naked pooch over 30 pounds); Puppy Fun (pooches under 2); Senior Pooch (10 years and older); and Best Trick (all ages).