Around 500 people braved the summer heat to attend the parade in honor of the goat, a traditional symbol of the northern village. The pageant also included a marching band, dancers in fancy costumes and a “king” and “queen” presiding over ceremonies.
It was the first time Demyte’s owner, 74-year-old retired veterinarian Ferdinandas Petkevicius, had won the competition after six years of trying.
“The only thing we didn’t do to prepare the goat for the pageant is we didn’t polish its nails – because we thought of it too late,” said Petkevicius, holding the leash of the winning white goat with black spots, who was decorated with two roses on its head.
Six goats decorated with flowers were paraded on a red carpet before a jury comprising the local member of parliament, the head of the local school and a cucumber farmer. Several contestants stubbornly refused to walk and were instead carried by their owners.
Cakes, jars of honey, books and coupons for a haircut were awarded to winners’ owners, before they walked their goats away from a by-then generously stained red carpet.