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Arbroath to host medieval fashion show – just for dogs!

Ruffs is an opportunity for top dogs to be photographed in costume while sitting on a luxurious throne.
Ruffs is an opportunity for top dogs to be photographed in costume while sitting on a luxurious throne.

Arbroath is a town famed for its colourful historic pageants and soon it will host a medieval dog show exclusively for local pooches.

With the Arbroath 2020+1 festival now underway, pet owners are hard at work crafting some show-stopping regal attire for their canine companions.

Ruffs Medieval Dogs in the Park will take place on the town’s Beacon Green on July 4. It’s an opportunity for top dogs to be photographed in costume while sitting on a luxurious throne.

Prior to lockdown, festival organisers envisaged holding a pageant procession to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath. Dog owners would take part with their pets.

Due lockdown, the entire festival was put on hold last year and is being revived this summer. So the pooch pageant has been re-imagined as a fabulous fashion show.

All set for the Ruffs medieval dog show in Arbroath.

‘Arbroath is dog crazy’

Pippa Martin, a creative producer for Arbroath 2020+1, says: “Arbroath has a long legacy of popular pageants and they re-enacted the historic moment of the Declaration

“We thought: ‘you know what, Arbroath is dog crazy – people just love their dogs’.

“So people are hopefully crafting like mad and they will come along on Sunday to present their dog on the throne to be photographed.”

Prior to lockdown, workshops were held to help people create the perfect medieval coat for their pet.

Working with Dundee scrap store ScrapAntics, organisers have been able to distribute dog-coat crafting kits.

Participants can collect a kit prior to July 4 by contacting Pippa direct at: pippa@hospitalfield.org.uk

Makers can even watch a medieval dog coat tutorial by artist Mandy McIntosh featuring her own pet, Oonagh. Mandy will also be at the event to provide styling tips.

The throne is being crafted from swathes of red velvet kindly donated by a Bollywood production team that filmed in Angus before lockdown.

Book a timeslot

Due to social distancing, the event is not a gathering or parade. Instead, participants must book a free timeslot.

Once there, they will have the opportunity to show off their doggie’s attire before placing them on their throne for a professional photograph.

One pooch wears chainmail ahead of the novel Arbroath dog show.

Pippa says: “We are also aware that there’s not a lot of time to make coats, but people might want to come along.

“So, we have a number of coats already made that people can use for the photo shoot. We’ve got a dressing-up box with sizes small, medium and large.

“Everybody who is taking part will feature on the website and we will have all the pictures on there.

“We will also create a wall of fame in the next couple of weeks that we will paste up in town. It will be a public display of all the costumes. It should be a fun day.”

The event runs from 2pm-4pm. All dogs must be on a lead – and all humans must stay two metres apart.

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