Residents of Long Grove, Illinois, witnessed their first dog mayor sworn into office on August 7, 2021. Lincoln of Briarcrest Subdivision, a Bernedoodle, received a landslide vote over his other competitors to become the top dog of the year.
Lincoln raised his paw to take his oath of office in the village’s historic covered bridge during the Long Grove Vintage festivities. The village’s human President, Bill Jacob, presided over the ceremony together with his predecessor. Lincoln will serve the village as an honorary mayor for one year and he is expected to attend the next village board meeting.
The dog bested 20 other canines and received a total of 520 votes. Started in June, the campaigning has ended on August 5, 2021, with each vote costing a dollar. Owners can pay as much as they want to nominate their pooch.
Fundraiser For The Village
Jane Primack, President of the Long Grove Historical Society, started the campaign as a fundraiser for the upkeep of the village’s historic buildings. “This money will be used to help maintain our three historical buildings in Long Grove that are part of our historical society including the farmhouse museum, the Archer School, and the Ruth Barn”, she said.
The goal was to raise $2,500 but it reached $7,412. The idea for this election came about from similar fundraising events in Rabbit Hash, Kentucky and Fair Haven, and Vermont.
Long Grove, which is northwest of Chicago and has a population of around 8,000, is a little town that preserved its original farming roots. It is known for its historic buildings, cobblestone walks that wind through downtown, and lush flowering garden set in a rural atmosphere. They hold festivals throughout the year including Chocolate Fest, Summer Fest, Craft Beer Days, and Apple Fest.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, no fundraising event was held in 2020.
Long Grove residents love their furry pets. Aaron Underwood, a historian for the Long Grove Historical Society, said this canine mayoral race is a “natural extension and celebration of the town’s synergy with their dogs.” He added, “We’re a strong dog-friendly town with lots of outdoor dining, events, and festivals throughout the year, and our local dog owners frequently enjoyed the town in the company of their pets.”
The race was heavily contested with many residents seriously campaigning for their dogs. From bribing voters with candy and cakes to offering free kisses from passersby, and pulling all-nighters for a meet-and-greet, no stone is unturned to get the top prize.
The chance to preside over dog duties the entire year is something the dog and its owners could not pass up. The mayor is expected to open the penny carnival during Vintage Days with a crepe ribbon cutting, or shall we say, ribbon chewing.
The mayor is also duty-bound to participate in new business opening events and will have the honor of riding with Santa during the Christmas parade in the historic downtown. For Lincoln the dog, he surely has his work cut out for him. Aarf, aarf!