Few things signal summer for man’s best friend better than the almost two-decades old tradition of Dog Fest.
Hosted by Mounds Pet Food Warehouse, the event will be held Sunday, June 14th from 10-4 at Angell Park in Sun Prairie.
Dog Fest is an all-dogs-welcome festival which allows people and their furry friends to try out new activities and learn more about local pet businesses, animal shelters and to test a variety of products and services which are available in the Dane County area. This year’s event is pirate themed, and features a host of contests and activities.
“We have a lot of hands on stuff that tends to be really popular,” Mounds’ Marketing Manager Heather Sullivan said. “People and their pets can actually try out a lot of things that they might not normally get the opportunity to do.”
Though none of the interactive activities are new this year, there are still 10 classic events which owners and their dogs can participate in, including a lure coursing race, a relay race called flyball, dock diving and an agility course, as well as the opportunity to take pictures in an official Madison Police Department K9 squad car.
There are also a host of dog-themed demonstrations that run all day long. The highlight of Dog Fest every year is the adoptable dog parade, where attendees are able to meet animals from various area shelters who are looking for new homes. The parade will begin at noon and the featured animals will be available all day at the various shelter booths.
“We normally have 50-60 rescue groups that attend Dog Fest,” Sullivan said. “Almost all of them have animals that are available for adoption for anyone who is interested.”
Other demonstrations include several service dog shows, a presentation by the Madison Police K9 unit, a dogsled lesson from DeForest resident and former Iditarod musher Glenn Lockwood and a companion fitness lesson from Dog Face Dog Training.
A series of contests will also be held, starting with a tail-wagging contest at 10:30 a.m. and concluding with a pirate costume contest at 3 p.m.
The winners of every contest will receive a $10 Mounds gift card.
Puppies under six months will not be allowed into the festival because they are usually missing vaccinations and are prone to being frightened by large crowds.
A shuttle will run from the Sun Prairie High School parking lot between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
The lineup includes:
• 10:30 a.m. Scallywaggin’—In this contest participants will encourage their dogs to wag away. The winner will be the one with the most swingin’ tail!
• 11 a.m. Doggie Survivor—Our special salute to the hit reality show. Judges will require increasingly difficult commands. If you or your dog are unable to perform, you’re out of the competition! The last dog remaining is our Doggy Survivor!
• 12 p.m. Man’s Best Matey—Are you and your dog twins? Are people always telling you, “You look just like your canine companion?” Now is your chance to shine! The pet and owner with the strongest resemblance wins!
• 12:30 p.m. Heave Ho Seadogs—Toss your dog a ball, frisbee, treat, or their favorite toy. The best safe catch will be our Best Catch Champion!
• 1 p.m. Scurvy Dogs—Does your pet exhibit strange behaviors? Does it look just a little bit weird? This is the contest for you! The winner will be the oddest pet we can find!
• 1:30 p.m. Jolly Rovers—Our Trick Contest winner will be the dog with the craziest and most interesting trick. The dog with the best trick or combination of tricks will be our winner!
• 2 p.m.Walk the Plank—Musical Chairs pirate style! When the music stops, both you and your dog must sit. If either of you don’t, you’re out! Last pair sitting wins.
• 3 p.m. The Pirate Captain—The winner of this contest will be the dog dressed like the best pirate captain.