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Meet-Ups for People & Pets

Colorado is a dog-friendly state that holds pet “conventions,” parades, and yappy hours and welcomes business travelers to bring furry friends along.

By Beth Buehler

Three Colorado gatherings that include pups are too sweet not to share and serve as reminders that this is very dog friendly state. It means you don’t have to leave Fluffy and Fido home while traveling for work gatherings, just make sure to follow the guidelines at events, lodging properties, parks, trails, and restaurant and brewery patios.

It’s not too late to take part in the fun and fur-filled Goldens in Golden, the world’s largest (unofficial) gathering of golden retrievers on Feb. 4 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., the Saturday closest to National Golden Retriever Day, which always falls on Feb. 3.

Goldens in Golden CREDIT Visit Golden/Evan Semón Photography

In its third year, Goldens in Golden typically attracts well over a thousand golden retrievers and their humans. Participants are invited to meet near the Golden Visitors Center and Parfet Park at 11 a.m., where there is a meet and mingle in Parfet Park; free pup cups (whipped cream) for the dogs; giveaways and vendor booths; and photo opportunities on Washington Avenue and a group walk to the Welcome to Golden arch for a photo at 11:45 a.m.

Local pet vendors and nonprofit organizations such as the Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies, Foothills Animal Shelter, and Morris Animal Foundation will be on hand to showcase their good work. Many local hotels, restaurants, and shops are offering dog-friendly specials to accommodate pets and people who travel to Golden for the event. Please RSVP to Goldens in Golden via Facebook if you plan to attend so organizers can prepare accordingly.

oldens in Golden is a gathering of people and pets CREDIT Visit Golden

As part of the Lighting of Breckenridge and Race of the Santas event in December, there is a midafternoon Holiday Dog Parade open to all breeds and ages. Dogs and their owners gather at the Park Avenue and Main Street intersection in Breckenridge before heading down historic Main Street to greet attendees. There tends to be a lot of Bernese Mountain Dogs that participate wearing costumes and pulling small chariots, so be ready for full-on cute.

Breckenridge Holiday Dog Parade CREDIT Breckenridge Tourism Office

Those in your group who like to run should bring a Santa suit and give it a go, and make sure to bring donations for the toy drive and shop the Handmade Holiday Market. At 5 p.m., Santa flips the switch in Blue River Plaza on more than 250,000 LED holiday lights.

Breckenridge Race of the Santas CREDIT Breckenridge Tourism Office

In the summer, photos from the National Association of Catering & Events Greater Denver Chapter’s Yappy Hour in June are sure to make you grin. The annual event is held at the Watering Bowl, a dog-friendly bar and patio in Denver. Make plans to attend this year if you missed it in 2022!

NACE Denver Yappy Hour CREDIT Gaby Marie Photo