Hundreds of Schnauzers will converge on Rome in September to try to break the world’s record for largest dog walk by a single breed.

The parade down Broad Street to the dog park at Ridge Ferry Park is just one of the activities planned during the two-day Schnauzerfest Rome event set for Sept. 27 and 28 at the Forum River Center.

“We have over 650 dogs from 43 states and Canada signed up so far,” said Hugh Tyner, marketing manager for the event. “They’re all coming!”

The record is currently held by 1,029 beagles in England but Tyner said more dogs – and their owners – are registering daily.

Following the parade, which is expected to include a German polka band, and play time at the dog park, festivities begin at the Forum. Tyner said non-Schnauzer owners are welcome to peek in and cheer them on.

Amateur competitions will include agility, talent and best in show. And they’ve recently added a “singing contest” dubbed Schnauzer Idol. Auditions are being held via videos uploaded to the local group’s Facebook page, Schnauzer Lovers of the South.

The page also includes a video welcome to Schnauzerfest from Rome Mayor Bill Collins, with Leo the Schnauzer on his lap.

“We’re about to lay out the red carpet for you guys. Don’t miss it,” Collins says.

On Sunday, Tyner and a few members of the subgroup Northwest Georgia Schnauzers met at the dog park off Riverside Parkway for a play date. Jonnie Poer drove up from Douglasville with her two dogs and the three newcomers were immediately brought into the fold.

“We’re the only Schnauzers in our play group,” Poer said as she settled in to watch her pets romp with the others.

Linda Beam said the informal group tries to get together on the second Sunday of each month to let their pets socialize.

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