NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- The annual New Canaan Dog Days outdoor FUNraiser festival for dogs and their human companions will be held noon to 3 p.m. Sunday in downtown New Canaan, rain or shine.
The event will benefit PAWS and STARelief. Several other pet-related nonprofits will be in attendance with adoptable animals and information on hand for attendees.
Lower Cherry Street, between Main Street and Burtis Street, will be closed to vehicular traffic from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. About 2,000 participants are expected to attend with their canine companions.
Visitors to this free family-friendly day will witness a Cool Dogs in Hot Rides parade at noon to kick off the event. Classic cars, painted trucks and vans, a treat mobile, motorcycle and more will be part of the parade. Additional cars with dogs, bicycles with baskets with dogs, wagons with dogs are wheelchairs are all invited to participate. The most unique vehicles will be parked in the Cherry Street Shopping Center parking lot visitor viewing and voting for crowd favorite.
Human/pet fashion contests will yield prizes in two categories: Best Matching Outfits (owner and dog in best matching outfits) and Best Theme, (i.e. a Star Wars/Disney family, humans and pets as bumble bees or alien space creatures, etc.) Creativity wins points.
All of the people who attend the festival will be able to use their mobile phones to vote for their favorite costumes and post pictures on Facebook. A parade of costumes/fashion will be held at 2:15 p.m. People that want to participate should register at the information desk beginning at noon.
Contests with ribbons, prizes and a portrait taken of the winners include: Best Pet Trick, Best Tail wagging and Best Kiss, for example. Take selfies with mascots and/or a Mini car for dogs. A cooling station will keep paws and feet chilled.
STARelief provides food and supplies to pet owners in need. Local residents are asked to bring pet food and gently used or new pet supplies to the Dog Days event to help fill the wish list of supplies at STARelief and keep pets in homes where they are loved. Each person who donates will receive a chance to win one of several door prizes donated by area businesses.
Here are the schedule highlights:
- Noon: Car Parade, followed by viewer favorite voting
- Noon to 3 p.m.: Exhibits, coffee cafe, music, photos
- 12:20 p.m.: Agility/obstacle demonstration
- 12:30 p.m.: Tail Wagging Contest
- 1 p.m.: Dunkin’ for Dogs Contest
- 1:20 p.m.: Pet Tricks Contest
- 1:45 p.m.: Agility Obstacle Demonstration
- 2 p.m.: Best Kiss Contest
- 2:15 p.m. Fashion Parade & Viewer Favorite Winner Announced
- 2:30 p.m. Lookalike Contest
Parking is available on the street, at the Morse Court and Locust Avenue Lot at the corner of Locust and Cherry, Old Center School Parking Lot at the corner of South Avenue, Maple Street, and Main Street, and at the New Canaan Train Station, just a short walk away.
More information about the event can be found online at www.newcanaandogdays.com.