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Chihuahua Costume Party Falls Short Of Record

By BILL DRAPER 05/05/12 08:09 PM ET AP

Chihuahua

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Hundreds of tiny tacos, ballerinas and other costumed dogs fell short of a world record Saturday morning in Kansas City, but organizers said they were encouraged by the turnout for the inaugural Cinco de Mayo Chihuahua parade.

Mark Valentine, the president of the group that organized the parade, said 500 dogs showed up in costume – about 200 fewer than what was needed to break the Guinness Book world record. The event, organized by United Entertainment to benefit a local animal shelter, was open to any breed.

Valentine estimated that 80 percent of the costumed canines were Chihuahuas, more than the 50 percent he anticipated.

"We are going to keep doing this until we run out of dogs in Kansas City and have to start shipping them in," Valentine said. "For a first try, we did OK."

Valentine said he was told Chihuahuas were among the most common breeds in animal shelters. Saturday's event raised about $2,500 for The Pet Connection, a local no-kill shelter.

"Chihuahuas get killed in animal shelters almost as much as pitbulls," he said.

Anne Fisher, a food stylist from Stilwell, Kan., about a half-hour south of Kansas City, said her male Chihuahua, Willie, seemed relieved when she slipped off his ballerina outfit after the parade.

"We figured he was going to be the smallest Chihuahua here, but he's not," she said of the 3-pound dog. "We're having more fun than he is. It's hysterical."

Just after 11 a.m., everyone in the crowd with a Chihuahua raised their pets over their heads. The result was a sea of tiny heads adorned with sombreros, cowboy hats, bows and even a Green Bay Packers football helmet.

Afterward, participants lined up and participated in a slow-moving procession along a sidewalk, as dozens of people in lawn chains watched the colorful animals strut past.

Valentine thought it was a little extreme that Guinness required a veterinarian to be on hand to make sure every dog registered for the event was alive. No dead dogs showed, he said, but someone did bring a potbellied pig.

"Apparently, they've had trouble with people sneaking pigs in," Valentine said.

Photos of Cinco de Mayo from around the world on HuffPost:

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  • On The Border Cinco de Mayo 2012 Party

    COMMERCIAL IMAGE - In this photograph taken by AP Images for On The Border, a Mariachi band plays at On The Border's Cinco de Mayo Party on Saturday, May 5, 2012 in Addison, Texas. The band entertained the crowd at the annual event. (Mike Fuentes/AP Images for On The Border)

  • On The Border Cinco de Mayo 2012 Party

    COMMERCIAL IMAGE - In this photograph taken by AP Images for On The Border, Sara Macalik, left, and Whitney Beauford dance to La Freak at On The Border's Cinco de Mayo Party on Saturday, May 5, 2012 in Addison, Texas. The band entertained the crowd at the annual event.(Mike Fuentes/AP Images for On The Border)

  • On The Border Cinco de Mayo 2012 Party

    COMMERCIAL IMAGE - In this photograph taken by AP Images for On The Border, Dawn Tillotson dances to La Freak at On The Border's Cinco de Mayo Party on Saturday, May 5, 2012 in Addison, Texas. The band entertained the crowd at the annual event. (Mike Fuentes/AP Images for On The Border)

  • On The Border Cinco de Mayo 2012 Party

    COMMERCIAL IMAGE - In this photograph taken by AP Images for On The Border, a Mariachi band plays at On The Border's Cinco de Mayo Party on Saturday, May 5, 2012 in Addison, Texas. The cover band La Freak played for an evening party. (Mike Fuentes/AP Images for On The Border)

  • Obama Cinco de Mayo

    Members of Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Georgetown walk along the colonnade as they arrive to perform before President Barack Obama speaks at a celebration of Cinco de Mayo in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 3, 2012. Cinco de Mayo celebrations at the White House have become annual features under recent presidents. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster))

  • Obama Cinco de Mayo

    President Barack Obama greets people during a celebration of Cinco de Mayo in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 3, 2012. Speaking at the reception, Obama blamed the failure of the Dream Act on a few Republicans in Congress. Cinco de Mayo celebrations at the White House have become annual features under recent presidents. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • Mexico Tourism Cinco de Mayo Event

    COMMERCIAL IMAGE - In this photograph taken by AP Images for Mexico Tourism, from left, actress/model Stacy Kiebler and tequila cocktail competition winner Jeremy Lake are seen at Mexico Tourism's Cinco de Mayo Event at Mixology 101, The Grove on Saturday, May 5, 2012 in Los Angeles. (Joe Kohen/AP Images for Mexico Tourism)(Joe Kohen/AP Images for Mexico Tourism)

  • Obama Cinco de Mayo

    Members of Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Georgetown walk along the colonnade as they arrive to perform before President Barack Obama speaks at a celebration of Cinco de Mayo in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • Mexico Cinco de Mayo

    A child dressed as a Mexican rebel takes part in the reenactment of the Battle of Puebla during the Cinco de Mayo celebrations in Mexico City, Saturday, May 5, 2012. Mexicans commemorate the 150th anniversary of the battle, fought against the French in 1862 in which Mexican forces loyal to Benito Juarez defeated French troops sent by Napoleon III to Puebla in central Mexico. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

  • Mexico Cinco de Mayo

    People take part in a reenactment of the Battle of Puebla during Cinco de Mayo celebrations in Mexico City, Saturday, May 5, 2012. Mexicans commemorate the 150th anniversary of the battle, fought against the French in 1862 in which Mexican forces loyal to Benito Juarez defeated French troops sent by Napoleon III to Puebla in central Mexico. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

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