‘BARKtoberfest’ returning to Gilbert for 15th year

What: BARKtoberfest When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday Oct. 11 Where: Gilbert Civic Center, 50 E. Civic Center Drive, Gilbert Information: azfriends.org By Eric Mungenast, Tribune BARKtoberfest started as a small dog washing event in a parking lot, but the much-larger event will celebrate its 15th itera tion on Oct. 11. The annual event in Gilbert brings dogs and […]

What: BARKtoberfest

When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday Oct. 11

Where: Gilbert Civic Center, 50 E. Civic Center Drive, Gilbert

Information: azfriends.org

8091431425_bc082989c5_zBARKtoberfest started as a small dog washing event in a parking lot, but the much-larger event will celebrate its 15th itera

tion on Oct. 11.

The annual event in Gilbert brings dogs and their owners together for activities, exhibitions, games and a little shopping for pets and their owners. A few of the attractions on tap include contests f

or the best trick, best dressed, and the dog that looks most like its owner; parades for dogs already adopted or up for adoption through Friends for Life Animal Rescue; demonstrations by the Gilbert Police Department K-9 unit; and raffle drawings. Attendees can adopt a dog at the event as well, and Friends for Life Board President Kathy Dunham said there will be 16 dogs up for adoption at this year’s festival.

BARKtoberfest also has a slew of vendors selling items like T-shirts, jewelry to items just for dogs.

“It’s pretty much everything,” Dunham said.

Organizers estimate more than 2,500 people will show up for the BARKtoberfest — a far cry from how the event began 15 years ago. Coordinator Cat Cunningham said the first BARKtoberfest was in front of the Starbucks location in Mesa she managed at the time, and she had to cordon off a bit of the parking lot to find the room for it. That first year included a dog wash and the bobbing for bones contest, both of which are still encompassed in BARKtoberfest, although there wasn’t room to do much more than that.

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