Thousands expected at festival all about dogs

(Posted Aug. 8, 2019)

In what has become known as “the coolest dog day ever,” WAG! Fest will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 17 at the Darby Bend Lakes Area of Prairie Oaks Metro Park.

WAG! Fest has grown to become the largest single-day dog festival in North America, and organizers expect thousands of dogs and dog lovers to converge on the park for a day filled with dog-friendly fun. Participants can wander trails, splash in lakes, and shop and learn at booths featuring dog-related products and service providers.

“People love their dogs and WAG! Fest is a perfect day of fun and adventure for dogs and their pet parents,” said Mike Poleway of Event Marketing Group, the company that produces the festival. “WAG! Fest is an entertaining and convenient opportunity for dog lovers to find the best products and services for keeping their canine companions strong, healthy and happy, all while enjoying the open air of one of central Ohio’s beautiful Metro Parks.”

Along with activities and fun for dogs, the event helps dogs in need. Dozens of area rescue groups will be on hand with adoptable dogs who are seeking forever homes.

This year’s WAG! Fest offers everything from educational advice to live entertainment and contests, including the following activities and attractions:

* WAG! Marketplace–exhibits of products, services and samples from pet retailers, veterinarians, doggie day care centers, pet photographers, groomers, trainers, and clubs and organizations dedicated to the health and well-being of canines;

* Water Bark Beach–an off-leash swim area for dogs;

* WAG! Ice Castle–a cool oasis filled with 2,500 pounds of ice;

* PetPeople Meet-The-Breed Showcase–Experts from area rescue groups will help visitors determine the best four-legged matches for their homes and lifestyles;

* disc demonstrations, agility performances and dock diving by talented canines;

* educational advice, contests and entertainment at the Take A Bow-Wow Stage.

The Darby Bend Lakes Area of Prairie Oaks Metro Park is located at 2755 Amity Road in Hilliard. For details, visit

Schedule of events

10:30 a.m.–Disc demonstrations and freestyle performances by Southern Ohio Flying K9s

11:00 a.m.–Meet The Breed Showcase

11:30 a.m.–Dog agility demonstration by Sky Dogs

12 p.m.–Pet safety tips and demonstrations with The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center

12:30 p.m.–Disc demonstrations and freestyle performances presented by Southern Ohio Flying K9s

1 p.m.–“The Benefits of Reward/Science-based Training” with Kelly Born of Camp Bow Wow

1:30 p.m.–Dog agility demonstration by Sky Dogs

2 p.m.–WAG! Top Dog contest (contest registration begins at 10:30 a.m.)

2:30 p.m.–Disc demonstrations and freestyle performances by Southern Ohio Flying K9s

3 p.m.–“Dog Behavior and the Chakra System” with Terri Vrbancic of Reiki & Craniosacral For People and Animals.

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