While floats and marching bands head down Peachtree Street at the Children’s Christmas Parade, and linebackers go shoulder-to-shoulder at the Dome for the SEC Football Championship, a pack of dogs will take center stage on December 3 at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, dressed to the tails in holiday finery. Each year since 2008, pooches have participated in the Reindog Parade—the only day of the year that pets can set paw inside the garden—to compete for awards like best dog-owner dress-alike or best botanical (picture a pup disguised as a poinsettia). Three winners will be crowned in each of five categories, but only one canine takes home Best in Show. Humans, take note: Coordinated costumes stand out. Past winners have taken inspiration from A Christmas Story (the owner dressed as a leg lamp, while the dog wore a puffy snowsuit) and Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol (Tiny Tim was portrayed by a rescue retriever with three legs).
This article originally appeared in our December 2016 issue.