We’re an observant and a fun bunch in Oak Park. Soon as organizers of the mass dog ceremony-which is tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 8-picked up on President-elect Barack Obama promising his daughters a puppy for their patience during the campaign, they dashed off a wedding invite to Malia and Sasha Obama.
“Because the Obama family is staying in Chicago this weekend, it seems only fitting that we extend this invitation,” said Pat Zubak, executive director of Downtown Oak Park. “This would also help the new president display his integrity-following through on his public declarations.”
So 10-year-old Malia and 7-year-old Sasha have gotten word: Find your puppy at the Animal Care League of Oak Park.
Fingers here are crossed and tails are wagging that the girls twist Dad’s arm enough to fulfill one of his first public pledges locally.
With or without the Obamas, the festivities will start in downtown Oak Park at 11 a.m. Saturday, where Guinness World Records Week will officially be launched.
The historic goal of the I Do to-do is for Oak Park to beat a record set last year for canine couplehood by Littleton, Colo., 178. The real-life, neighborhood goal of the whole production is to raise money in a high-profile way for the village’s dog and cat shelter, Animal Care League, at 1013 W. Garfield.
Village President David Pope will officiate at the mass muttrimonial.
Registration fees for the wedding licenses-at $5 a dog, and another $5 if they’re yet to be betrothed and could benefit from speed dating-go directly to the shelter. The village’s largest business district, Downtown Oak Park, which comprises the reopened stretch of Marion Street and Lake Street from Forest to Harlem, is the force behind this tongue-in-cheek fun.
Rehearsal nibbles for the nuptials begin at 11 a.m., when speed dating will start for unattached (though certainly leashed) dogs and their good-humored people, who will abide by arranged marriages for their best friends in the name of helping foundlings. The wedding ceremony, expected to last about 10 minutes, will be start at 1 p.m. An adjudicator from Guinness World Records is en route to Oak Park to count and verify.
To read up on backstories of fun related to this event, go to the I Do Doggone It blog at www.dogwedding.info, where you can also get a registration form in advance.
But rushing to the altar is OK in this case. You’ll be able to register Spot on the spot in the morning.
Among the early registrants, at least one couple will have a third dog serving as ring bearer.
Also there will be vendor booths and a professional photographer, Michelle Lytle, who specializes in dog photography.
For details about Oak Park’s animal shelter, go to www.animalcareleague.org.