Turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks.
Winslow Park has always been Westport’s 32-acre, right-near-downtown park. It’s big, beautiful, hilly, wooded and — let’s face it — dull.
Sure, dogs romp. Their owners walk, throw balls and socialize. It’s a wonderful place. But not much really happens.
Last year, the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce sponsored the 1st-ever Dog Festival there.
It was the greatest thing since flea collars.
Demonstrations include police dogs, emergency rescue dogs, guide dogs, hunting dogs, and and agility and training exhibitions.
Earth Animal offers prizes for best tail wagger, best dressed, best kisser, best trick, best lap dog over 50 pounds, and dog that looks most like its owner. Judges include some very important humans: Selectmen Jim Marpe, Avi Kaner and Helen Garten, and state legislators Toni Boucher, Gail Lavielle and Jonathan Steinberg.
There’s an obstacle course too. The winner gets a year’s supply of dog food.
Surrounding the main activities will be dozens of pet-related vendors, rescue/ adoption opportunities, vet seminars, caricaturists and giveaways, plus food trucks (for humans).
Choice Pet is the lead sponsor. TAILS — the local spay/neutering group — is again partnering with the Chamber.
There’s plenty of parking at the Westport Country Playhouse. Proceeds from the entrance fee ($10 per person, $25 for a family of 4) benefit non-profit organizations. Last year, the Chamber of Commerce donated $5,000 to deserving groups.
Dog owners can register for the competitions online, or at the festival. Click here for more information.