HAYWARD -- The Santa Paws Parade for pets Saturday will include one East Bay canine celebrity and his grateful human owner.
It's Deuce, the 5-year-old Yorkshire terrier who was dognapped from owner Helen Bignone in October, taken in an Alameda robbery along with the 80-year-old's purse.
Deuce was recovered in Stockton, his identity verified through an implanted chip, and dog and master reunited earlier this month. They'll both be guests of honor in Saturday's parade.
"We're very excited to have Deuce and Helen," said Gloria Ortega of the city's redevelopment department. "We're hoping to have them ride with the mayor."
The Santa Paws Parade is a flashback to an event that was one of the most popular children's parades in the nation in the mid-20th century, Ortega said. The city revived it in 2007 but was hampered from making it an annual event because of the economic downturn.
Following the parade, there will be activities at the main library, including issuing awards for best-dressed pet, animal and owner look-alike contest, pet photos with Santa, a pet boutique and pets for adoption.
Registration fees will benefit the Hayward Animal Shelter.
The dog parade comes on the tail of the Light Up the Season downtown event Thursday night.
Thousands of lights will light up B Street, and there will be a return of the popular tap-dancing Christmas trees, holiday train and skating on a synthetic ice rink, as well as live
For details, go to www.hayward-ca.gov.
IF YOU GO
What: Light Up the Season
When: 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday
Where: Downtown Hayward, along B Street, with a tree lighting at City Hall.
If you go
What: Santa Paws Parade
When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday
Where: Starts in parking lot across from downtown theater, ends in front of Hayward Main Library, 835 C St.
Details: To register or make a donation, go to www.hayward-ca.gov and click on the Santa Paws Parade link.