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A festival for the dogs
|Photos courtesy of Stephanie Moon Photography
A member of the Southern Ohio Flying K9s performs in a disk demonstration at WAG!
WAG!—a festival all about man’s best friend—attracted 12,000 humans and 2,500 dogs to Prairie Oaks Metro Park last year.
Mike Poleway, one of the event’s organizers, expects a similar, if not larger, turnout at this year’s festival, set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 25. Admission is free.
“We started WAG! five years ago with the idea of creating an event that celebrates canine-human friendships,” he said.
The Darby Bend Lakes area at Prairie Oaks, located just north of West Jefferson on the Franklin/Madison county line, provides a beautiful setting and plenty of space for WAG’s many activities.
“One of the festival’s most popular features is the Water Bark Beach off-leash swim area, which will be open all day,” Poleway said. “Also popular is the Kroger Ice Castle, where we have 3,000 pounds of ice for the dogs to cool off on.”
Pet-friendly trails lead past the WAG! Marketplace, featuring exhibits of products and services from pet retailers, clubs and organizations, including dog rescue groups with adoption information.
Plenty of informative and fun presentations and contests fill the schedule:
• Top Dog Contest—(11 a.m. and 3 p.m.) Among the categories are best dressed, most vocal, best trick, and the dog that looks most like his or her owner. Register one hour prior to contest time at the Take A Bow-Wow Stage.
• Dressed to the Canines Fashion Show—(Noon) Outfitted in apparel from Moochie & Co., dogs up for adoption will walk the runway.
• Training Demonstration—(1 p.m.) Pick up some helpful tips from the folks at Acme Canines.
• Ask the Vet—(2 p.m.) A panel of three local veterinarians will answer audience questions.
• Dock Diving and Disk Demonstrations—(all day) Watch some of the area’s most talented dogs show off their agility.
For visitors who plan to bring their dogs to the festival, a few basic rules apply. The dogs must be current on vaccinations, show their license and rabies tags, remain on a leash six feet long or shorter, and be socialized.
To reach the Darby Bends Lake area, use the park entrance at 2755 Amity Road, Hilliard. Parking is free.
To learn more about WAG!, go to www.WAGFEST.com.
To learn more about Prairie Oaks and the 12 other Metro Parks that feature pet-friendly trails, go to www.metroparks.net.
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