A local pup made famous during the Christmas season will serve as grand marshal during a summer holiday favorite — the Liberty Township 4th of July Parade.
Wilson, the “Pupweiser” dog will serve as grand marshal for Monday’s parade that begins at 9 a.m. at Lakota East High School and ends at Liberty Junior School, according to the township’s social media post.
Wilson’s “owners” were interviewed by the Journal-News in November and he was happy to pose for photos. His was the face of the special edition Budweiser cans on sale through last year’s holiday season.
Kelsey Dempsey, a civil engineer, and fiancé Colin Black, a software engineer, worked from home a lot during the pandemic and Dempsey said that’s when she took up photography in her spare time. Last March, the Budweiser contest looking for photogenic dog caught her eye.
“I got into photography as a hobby. I had taken some pictures during the holiday season. I saw someone had posted to be on the cans. I thought that would be fun. We love beer and dogs,” Dempsey said. ”I posted to their hashtag not thinking much of it. They contacted me a few days later and said we were in the final four. It was crazy.”
After several days of voting on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, Dempsey learned her 2-year-old dog was the winner.
“The public got to vote and he won. I couldn’t believe it,” Dempsey said.
Wilson was purchased from a breeder after the loss of Dempsey’s much-loved rescue St. Bernard, Apollo. The senior dog lived a long life, but developed health issues. Dempsey said she hoped a dog from a breeder would have less issues.
Wilson comes from a line of show dogs and has a mellow temperament.
“If he has good enough treats, he will sit still for at least a little while,” Dempsey said, adding she has dressed up Wilson for portraits since puppyhood.
They travelled to St. Louis for Wilson’s photo shoot and a tour of Anheuser-Busch that included a meet-up with the famous Clydesdale horses.
“They made Wilson look tiny,” Dempsey said.
Wilson has always loved people and his fame is something he’s loving.
Wilson has always really liked people and attention, so this is dream to have people say, ‘hey can I get a picture and can I pet him’,” Dempsey said.