Saturday pooch parties to benefit local animal agencies.
By David Leone
WAKE FOREST — This town is going to the dogs. Literally.
Saturday marks the town’s first ever Lolla PAW Looza dog fest at Joyner Park. Another first, a wiener dog race, also takes place in north Raleigh Saturday.
Lolla PAW Looza, a canine celebration in the heart of Wake Forest, is a family-friendly festival. The fest runs 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the park in the amphitheater area.
Events include a fun walk, pet/owner look-alike contest, doggy dance contest and a dog costume contest.
Prizes will be donated by pet product vendors.
Lolla PAW Looza also features music, bobbing for tennis balls, pet service and pet vendors, doggy water fun and several food trucks.
The fundraising festival is hosted by Paws At Play and Healthy Paws Animal Hospital of Wake Forest.
Though it’s free to attend, event planners request a $25 donation for the 11 a.m. dog walk with the proceeds benefitting the Franklin County SPCA.
“We have 15 local businesses, mostly pet-related industries,” said Paws At Play marketing manager Tara McGrew. “Their goal for this event is to promote pet adoptions, responsible pet ownership and to educate the community about products and services available.”
Two of the businesses are pet bakeries — which in and of itself shows how big the area pet-friendly market has become, she said.
Lolla PAW Looza will be held rain or shine. Dogs must be kept on a leash and have all their shots.
Though Paws at Play has done other events and get-togethers, this one came about after the shop owners attended the very fun Bark Around the Park festival in Raleigh.
McGrew credited town of Wake Forest employees and the participating businesses for success in organizing Lolla PAW Looza.
“Everybody’s been really helpful at getting this off the ground and make it a fun day,” she said.
To register early or for more information, call 919-556-8383.
For dachshund lovers out there, there’s a special event taking place Saturday afternoon. The first Wiener Dog Race will be held in a series of heats at Lafayette Village from 1-4 p.m.
The race is sponsored by several dog-based businesses, all in the Wake Forest and Wakefield area, and benefits All Breed Animal Rescue of the Carolinas. Sponsors hope it will become an annual event.
The shopping center community is incorporating the race into its annual fall festival.
“We’ve been doing Oktoberfest for three years,” said Holly Van Appledoorn, marketing representative for Lafayette Village and Wake Forest resident. “Wiener dog races are very popular over in Germany. They’re very competitive. We thought it would be a fun event to incorporate.”
The event is sponsored by Fetch! Pet Care and Dirty Dawgs of Wake Forest and Woof Gang Bakery and Grooming in Wakefield. Fetch! owner Kelly Strowd owns five dachshunds, all rescues, so the event has special significance for her.
“I got my first dachshund 12 years ago and fell in love with the breed. I was fostering them and ended up adopting a couple of them,” Strowd said. “I try to do as much as I can in working with dachshund rescue and donating what I can.”
The Oktoberfest is weather-permitting and includes a kids’ zone, a visit by Miss Wake County Teen Danielle Toback, who is a Wake Forest High School student — and participation by 12 craft breweries, including White Street Brewing Company in Wake Forest.
The wiener dogs will race in groupings by age, depending on the number of entries. As of Monday, 15 dogs had been registered. The registration deadline has been extended until Friday.
Added Appledoorn, “I think it’s gong to be a neat event. I’m excited about it.”
Lafayette Village is located at 8450 Honeycutt Road. For more information, see tiny.cc/hotdograce or call 919-714-7447.