Howls and barks echoed down Broad Street and around Ridge Ferry Park this weekend as hundreds of dogs and their owners came together for Rome’s second Schnauzerfest.
Organizer Hugh Tyner reported 610 Schnauzers came out to the festival, along with well over a thousand owners. He didn’t have an exact number, but estimated there were about two to three people per dog.
“It’s a bit smaller than the first year, but we hope we get even more people next year and, hopefully, we can have it at the Forum (River Center) again,” Tyner said.
While some dogs and their humans travelled only a few hours to get to Schnauzerfest, there were people from all over the county, including Ohio, Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi and Tennessee.
Many of the attendees actually came out to the original event back in 2019 and had some reunions with old friends from two years ago.
“I always thought I was a crazy dog lady, but it turns out there are many of us,” Angie Culleton said.
Julie Cohens and David Bruno brought their Schnauzers Lucy and Diesal and met another couple who live only a mile away from them in Atlanta.
“It’s so crazy. We never would’ve known if we hadn’t come out,” Cohens said.
Earlier in the day, hundreds of dogs and their owners walked along Broad Street for the Schnauzerween parade.
The Roman Trolley and some Schnauzer firefighters with the Rome-Floyd fire engine led the costume parade, which included dogs and owners dressed as Wizard of Oz characters, German beer and pretzels — and a couple from Louisiana whose dogs were “ingredients” in a crawfish boil.
One of the undeniable crowd-pleasers was a group of two Schnauzers dressed up as Sylvester and Tweedy, escorted by Granny and Hector the dog.
The event wrapped up Sunday morning with a worship service at Ridge Ferry Park.