Chihuahua costume party successful, but not record-breaking

After Saturday morning, Cinco de Mayo in Kansas City will forever be synonymous with tiny four-legged spaceships, cowboys, and ballerinas.

Almost 500 dogs participated in the Kansas City Cinco de Mayo Chihuahua Parade.

The first annual Kansas City Cinco de Mayo Chihuahua Parade took place Saturday morning, drawing costumed dogs of all breeds – and one pot-bellied pig – to the Kansas City Crossroads Arts District.

A representative of the Guinness Book of World Records was in attendance to monitor the event turnout. By the day’s end, nearly 500 decked-out dogs marched in the parade – over 100 dogs short of a world record.

The current record for “most dogs in costumed attire” is held by Joker Inc. out of Japan. Guinness officials counted a whopping 603 dogs in attendance at the Tokyo Dog Jack event at the Roppongi Hills Arena in May 2011.

Though the Kansas City event failed to break the world record, the turnout was still enough to encourage event coordinator Mark Valentine.

“We are going to keep doing this until we run out of dogs in Kansas City and have to start shipping them in,” jokes Valentine. “For a first try, we did okay,” he says proudly.

It is estimated that 80 percent of the animals in attendance were Chihuahuas, a breed Valentine says is one of the most common dog breeds found at animal shelters across the country.

Chihuahuas get killed in animal shelters almost as much as Pit Bulls,” Valentine explains.

The parade and costume party raised nearly $2,500 for Mission, Kansas animal rescue organization The Pet Connection.