Willie brings campaign for ‘mayor of Annan-tail’ to the Taste

With the Taste of Annandale happening just a little more than three weeks before Election Day, we’re expecting there will be some intense political campaigning going on at the Oct. 13 street festival.

Joining the real candidates, will be Willie, a friendly pit bull mix, who’s running as mayor of “Annan-tail.”

Willie will be accompanied by his handler, Giovanna Di Biccari, who will be on the panel of judges for the best-dressed pet contest.


Willie’s platform is all about the need to turn Annandale into a walkable, pet friendly community, with more parks, more options for outdoor dining, more park benches, and stores with outdoor hooks for leashes.

Now that the Annandale Kmart is closing, Willie and Giovanna would like to see a town center on that spot.

Giovanna has talked to several business owners in Annandale about her ideas to incorporate dog-friendly amenities, but didn’t find much support.

The owner of a shopping center declined to discuss her proposal for turning a vacant storefront into a doggie daycare center, and the owner of a restaurant with a grassy backyard didn’t respond to her request to talk about fencing it in.

Giovanna produces a show on YouTube called “Embark! TV” that highlights animal-friendly businesses and organizations across the country.

Programs have featured an accounting firm that gives employees two days off a year to volunteer at an animal shelter, the Dog Daze of Summer celebration at Barrel Oak Winery in Delaplane, Va.; a “rescue zoo” in Delaware that houses former pets and domestic animals in a natural setting; and a program that combines yoga and goats.

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