A Beastly Blessing Event Trots Back to Long Beach

Llamas, pups, and geckos, too: Stop by this sand-adjacent spot on the first Sunday of October for the Blessing of the Animals.

Justin Rudd

What to Know

  • Blessing of the Animals
  • Sunday, Oct. 3 at 5:45 p.m. at 1 Granada Avenue in Long Beach
  • A number of interfaith leaders will bestow benedictions on critters of all stripes

Speaking loving words to your goldfish, your parakeet, or the guinea pig that is the wholesome center of your whole universe?

You likely do so daily, if not hourly.

Such spoken kindnesses help to build a bridge between humans and the animals they adore, and whether our pups or cats or birds full understand us or not (surely they do, wethinks), the adorable act of sharing some verbal sunshine with a furry or feathery friend is a timeless one.

Animal blessings help to further this good and forward-looking feeling in a community-wide way.

From the major festivals at places like Washington National Cathedral, to locally beloved events like the annual blessing at Olvera Street, people of all faiths regularly queue up with a leash, fish bowl, or hamster carrier in hand.

Such heartwarming happenings have been consistently canceled or postponed over the last 18 months, in observance of pandemic protocols, but one of Southern California's long-running gatherings is returning after a year away on Sunday, Oct. 3.

It's The Blessing of the Animals in Long Beach, which will meow, caw, and raise a bark at 1 Granada Avenue not long before sunset.

It's the 19th annual go-around for this event, which will welcome five faith leaders in 2021.

Billed as "One of the World's Largest Interfaith Pet Blessings," this free-to-attend event regularly sees around 200 animals, including "a battalion of bulldogs."

Attendees are also welcome to bring collars, toys, or loved items from dearly missed pets, should you wish for the interfaith leaders to give a benediction in your animal's memory.

"It's important to recognize and honor the great bond and relationship between pets and their people," said Justin Rudd, the founder of the event. Mr. Rudd is also at the helm of the famous Haute Dog parades that take place in the area.

For more on what to expect, what pets have played a part in the past, and helpful information about attending, visit The Blessing of the Animals page now.

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