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Pets rule the day at Windmill City Festival

Published: Saturday, July 13, 2013 3:51 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, July 15, 2013 6:59 a.m. CDT

BATAVIA - Jack Morris of Batavia knew that his eight-year-old bearded dragon Connor would probably stand out at Saturday's Pet Parade at the Windmill City Festival.

Not surprisingly, Connor was give the award for most unusual pet at the parade. The award also could have easily gone to Jack's ball python Sniper, which the 13-year-old wore on his head during the parade.

Sniper did not mind the day's sunny skies and warm temperatures.

"His kind came from Africa," Jack said. "They are used to the weather."

The family also brought their toy poodle Shark Bait to the parade. Next year, they hope to make an even bigger splash by bringing their horses to the parade. They have three horses that are boarded in St. Charles

"I think the horses could lead the parade," said Sheila Morris, Jack's mother.

Also garnering attention was Terry Chechakli's blue and gold macaw, Pito, who as part of his trick, sat on Jordan, his border collie mix. That impressed master of ceremonies Craig Foltos.

"If we can get a bird and a dog to get along, we can all learn to get along," Foltos said.

Pito received the award for best trick. Equally impressive is his 50-word vocabulary.

"He picks up what he wants to pick up," Chechakli said. "He won't do things on command."

Ed Izenstark and his wife, Valerie, of Batavia, decided to dress their dachshund in a hot dog costume.

"He actually really likes it," he said. "He's worn it at Halloween before."

WIndmill City Festival will continue Sunday at the Batavia Riverwalk, Houston Street and Island Avenue. Activities include an ice cream eating contest at 2 p.m. and a fire hose challenge at 3 p.m.

A full schedule is available at www.windmillcityfest.org.

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