Woofa-Roo Pet Festival

Woofa-Roo sees incredible numbers, despite brief storm during set-up Friday

 

By Jolene Perron

 

When a quick storm passed through some parts of Essex County Friday evening, a number of tents at the pet festival were overturned.

However, after putting in countless hours of work overnight, they recovered and the weather for the remainder of the weekend was in their favor.

From the dock diving organized by Ontario Dock Dogs, to the display of the many skills by Border City Barkers, the festival was a huge hit with pets and their humans.

One of the more popular events at Woofa-Roo’s festival was dock diving, where dog owners threw toys into a large pool of water to encourage them to jump as far as they could.  Some dogs reached lengths of 24 metres.

One of the more popular events at Woofa-Roo’s festival was dock diving, where dog owners threw toys into a large pool of water to encourage them to jump as far as they could.
Some dogs reached lengths of 24 metres.

“We’ve been coming here for three years and Cody really enjoys the event,” said Joe Ulakovich, owner of seven-year-old Yorkshire-bichon Cody. “We did some shopping, and it’s a great day out for the family. It’s a nice event, it’s very family-oriented and it’s comfortable being here with the family. We can give him treat samples and see what he likes.”

Owners such as Jon Ashe, owner of a two-year-old miniature Labradoodle, said the event is great for people who want to socialize their dog with other animals. Although it was his first year at the event, he said he plans on coming back next year and wants to teach his dog how to do dock jumping. He said all of the dogs they encountered over the weekend were great, and he loves bring able to bring his dog to an event, since he is a part of their family.

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“This has been phenomenal, we have had record-breaking crowds,” said Woofa-Roo director/founder Lorene Clayton. “Everyone is happy, we have a lot of dogs and the response has been very good. This is a dynamic weekend with a charitable twist as our festival benefits nine different charities and rescues. We enhance their profile with the public, help their fund raising efforts, increase their volunteer base, foster homes and secure homes for animals needing to be re-homed.”

 

Fun fetched by thousands at Woofa-Roo Pet Festival

By Shelbey Hernandez

 

The “Olympic-style pet event,” as the founder so calls it, has celebrated its another year as a success.

Despite the rain on Saturday, thousands of pet owners and their furry friends were seen diving off docks, jumping over obstacles and enjoying the many pet-engaging activities offered at the one-of-a-kind pet event. The event was held at the Libro Credit Union in Amherstburg on Saturday and Sunday with around 12,000 in attendance.

A very well-trained Radar had a blast during the dock diving competition which was part of the fourth annual Woofa-Roo Pet Festival held at the Libro Centre in Amherstburg last weekend. (RTT Photo by Shelbey Hernandez)

A very well-trained Radar had a blast during the dock diving competition which was part of the fourth annual Woofa-Roo Pet Festival held at the Libro Centre in Amherstburg last weekend. (RTT Photo by Shelbey Hernandez)

The festival was created by Lorene Clayton who saw a void and wanted to fill it. With no pet festivals to be found in Windsor-Essex, she decided to create one herself. As a dog owner herself, she felt it necessary to have a place where people could celebrate being pet owners. She modeled her event after the Dog Bowl, a large pet festival in Frankenmuth, Mich.

Her first go at it attracted 7,000 people. Last year, that number jumped to more than 11,500 people. The event also supports local pet charities and rescues by donating large sums of money and being the place where adoption and rescue centres can gain greater exposure.

What Clayton notices about the event she started is how it brings people together.

“They have a common bond. The minute they come into this gate, they have a common bond with a perfect stranger and the dogs that are here and the people who are here, there are social barriers that are just gone because everyone knows that the person walking next to them shares that love for that animal,” said Clayton. “So it’s a way to celebrate pet ownership and people are eager to do this.”

During the fourth annual WoofaRoo Pet Fest, a German short-haired pointer is photographed competing in the flyball competition at the Libro Credit Union Centre in Amherstburg last Sunday.

During the fourth annual WoofaRoo Pet Fest, a German short-haired pointer is photographed competing in the flyball competition at the Libro Credit Union Centre in Amherstburg last Sunday. (RTT Photo by Shelbey Hernandez)

The event comes with many different vendor booths, K9 demonstrations, pet activities and Olympic-style games for pets and their owners to compete in.

One of them is dock diving, which pet owner Deloni Leslie had her dog Ari competing in. Leslie said she has come to the pet festival since the first year it started but didn’t start competing in dock diving until last year. Since then, she’s been hooked and has given the organizer nothing but praise.

Chasing bags around a large expanse was one pet activity that many pets really enjoyed. It was known as the lure coursing event which took place during the WoofaRoo Pet Fest held at the Libro Centre in Amherstburg. (RTT Photo by Shelbey Hernandez)

Chasing bags around a large expanse was one pet activity that many pets really enjoyed. It was known as the lure coursing event which took place during the WoofaRoo Pet Fest held at the Libro Centre in Amherstburg. (RTT Photo by Shelbey Hernandez)

“I’m a big supporter of Woofa-Roo. I think it’s been amazing since day one,” said Leslie. “There’s nothing really like it in our community and yet, there are so many people with dogs and obviously a ton of people here. Since year one, I think the organizer has done an amazing job. She keeps adding something to it every year and it’s just a really great, fun thing to do. Even if your dog doesn’t want to do any of these things, there’s a lot of things to do and see and shop.”

Pair of festivals coming to Amherstburg area this weekend

 

 

By RTT Staff

 

There will be no shortage of things to do for people in Amherstburg this weekend.

A pair of festivals are scheduled for this weekend, one at the Libro Centre and the other at Co-An Park in McGregor.

The Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Show returns to Co-An Park with festivities getting underway Friday at noon. The weekend will not only feature steam and gas engines, but a flea market, crafts, a bake sale, a bean pot, threshing demonstrations, antique tractor pulls, stock lawn tractor pulls, a “show and shine” antique car show, entertainment, saw mill demonstrations and hundreds of exhibits throughout the weekend.

One of the major features of the Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Show is the annual parade of tractors. That is once again scheduled for Saturday at 9 a.m. The participants lineup in the St. Clement’s Church parking lot before heading south on Walker Road. The parade then goes east on Concession 11 in Essex before making its way into Co-An Park at which point the opening ceremonies are held.

The Carl Smith Sawmill will be active at Co-An Park this weekend as part of the Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Show.

The Carl Smith Sawmill will be active at Co-An Park this weekend as part of the Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Show.

For more information on the parade, contact Donna Hanson at 519-839-4516 or e-mail donbak63@hotmail.com.

This year’s featured tractors and equipment at the show will be Ford-Ferguson tractors and machinery.

Hours are 12-6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults (half price for seniors on Friday only), children 6-12 $2 and children five and under free. A three-day pass is $12.

For more information on the show itself, contact Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Museum president Gary Struhar at rsesbulletin@aol.com or visit www.essexsteamandgasengine.com.

The Woofa-Roo Pet Festival is also this weekend, with pets and pet lovers expected to converge on the Libro Centre Saturday and Sunday.

The Woofa-Roo Pet Festival is this weekend at the Libro Centre.

The Woofa-Roo Pet Festival is this weekend at the Libro Centre.

Woofa-Roo features the Border City Barkers dog agility show, a parrot show from the CK Parrot Club, visits from the Elite Windsor K9 Squad and Sarah Parks Horsemanship, dock diving, seminars and discussions on solving separating anxiety (with Kelly French) and breaking bad habits and public proofing your dog (with Terri Coutts), a charity treasure hunt, a flyball tournament and “the Woofa-Roo Gauntlet.”

The weekend will also feature charity pet psychic readings with Dan Valkos, an all-breed lure coursing event, and “Disc Dog!,” the latter being new for 2016.

The Woofa-Roo Pet Festival will also be collecting free will donations and will be hosting a silent auction, all to benefit charities and rescues.

A full schedule of events can be found at www.woofaroo.com.