Get ready to walk with the animals.

A free, all-day communitywide pet party will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 29, to raise funds for the Galveston Island Humane Society.

“There are dozens of activities for every age and interest and of course, the family pet is welcome — in costume or not — on a non-retractable leash for safety’s sake,” said Kate Marx, chairwoman for the event.

Called Pet-A-Palooza, the festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a blessing of the animals by Reverend Richard Rhoades and continues until 4 p.m. with costume parades, pet dancing, an Ask-the-Vet booth hosted by local veterinarians, multiple demonstrations, and a Kids Zone with face painting, paw print art and Zoo Olympics.

Held in downtown Galveston on the grounds of the First Lutheran Church between 24th and 25th streets on Winnie, Pet-a-Palooza will feature music by Pee Wee Bowen and his band, boutique pet shopping, instruction on pet care and opportunities for pet adoption.

The Galveston Kindness Project is sponsoring a mural for kids to paint, which shows what it means to be kind to animals.

“For those who love to shop, there are multiple specialty venues such as Duchess Dynasty, Nothin’ Butt Dogs with canine-inspired shirts, mugs and ornaments, Vintage Pet Beds made from architectural salvage and Bone Voyage Pet Resort offering toys, leashes and specialty foods,” Marx said.

The main courtyard will serve as the friendly competition arena for pets and their owners vying for best costume, best dance move, best pet hairstyle, and best pet tricks. There will also be a Shelter Spotlight Parade and demonstrations by the Galveston Police K-9 unit and K-9 Kommotion, a competitive fly ball racing team.

Human food will be available from four food trucks: Saltwater Cowboy Grill, Jenny from the Block, Don Juve’s and Off Beat Eats.

The Humane Society will also be selling drink tickets for beer, wine, soft drinks and water.

“The Galveston community is full of animal lovers, and this is an opportunity for them to get together, to have a great time, and to offer their personal support to a truly worthy organization,” Marx said.

Six pet rescue organizations will participate which is supported in part by Classic Auto Group of Galveston.

The Galveston Island Humane Society cares for more than 3,000 cats, dogs and other critters that are homeless or abandoned each year on Galveston Island.

For more information about the humane society, visit GIHS is dedicated to the welfare of homeless and unwanted animals and has been serving the Galveston community since 1981. The shelter is located at 6814 Broadway.

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