On Saturday, April 23, 2011 from Noon to 5 p.m., the annual Blessing of the Animals on Olvera Street takes place. Pet owners bring mostly dogs to the event and line up to receive blessings for them.
The 81st annual event takes place at El Pueblo Historical Monument, with a procession on Olvera Street at 2 p.m. and blessing to follow right after. Musical entertainment, charro equestrian show, pony rides for children and a petting zoo complete with llamas, sheep, cows and other animals. The event aims to bless all pets; however, you do not need a pet to enjoy the event. Location: 125 Paseo de la Plaza, Los Angeles, CA. Call (213) 625-7074 or (213) 485-8372. lacity.org
OTHER PET BLESSINGS:
Blessing of the Animals at St. Francis Winery & Vineyards Sunday, October 2, 2011, 3-5 p.m.
11th Annual Blessing of the Animals - Take part in the annual tradition by bringing your best furry friend to be blessed at St. Francis Winery. If you have a dog, plan to show it off by participating in the Winery Dog of the Year contest. There will be wine, nibbles, and pet friendly vendors on hand to round out the afternoon. Proceeds from this event go to support local animal charities, no reservations required. Location: 100 Pythian Road, Santa Rosa, CA. Call: (888) 675-WINE, stfranciswinery.com
In San Diego's Old Town Central Plaza a pet blessing was held at St. Anthony's Feast celebration in January. Sponsored by the California State Parks, the event provided pet adoptions and a religious ceremony, "Benediction of the Beasts", where animals are blessed to receive the saint's protection. In San Diego such blessings were observed by the early Spanish and Mexican colonists. parks.ca.gov
Interfaith Blessing of the Pets event takes place in Long Beach annually on St. Francis Day weekend in October. It is billed as the largest interfaith pet blessing in the world. hautedogs.com
Metropolitan Church of Coachella Valley hosts an annual Blessing of the Animals to celebrate St. Francis of Assisi Festival as a fund-raising opportunity. mcccv.org
Congregation Dor Hadash in San Diego held a Blessing of the Animals ceremony in January 2011, with pet owners invited to bring their pets to the Reconstructionist synagogue. Rabbi Yael Ridburg blessed all the animals attending, with the event held in honor of Tu b'Shevat, the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat which coincides this year with January 20th, and is often called the Jewish Arbor day. See more events on the California calendar