Downtown Braselton is giving local dogs something to wag about with its fifth annual Pooches in the Park event.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 26, canines and their owners will be able to enjoy over 30 dog-centric food, grooming, toy and clothing vendors, as well as canine-friendly activities at Braselton Park, located at 126 Harrison St.
“We love dogs,” said Jessica Payne, Braselton’s downtown assistant. “There are a lot of people who bring their dogs to our events. We thought it would be neat to have an event specifically for our four-legged friends.”
Like in years prior, Payne said all the vendor fees will be donated to the Humane Society of Jackson County to help fund the nonprofit’s efforts in sheltering and finding families for homeless dogs and cats. Last year, she said the event raised $1,500.
Pooches in the Park
What: Fifth annual dog-centric event with canine-friendly vendors and activities
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 26
Where: Braselton Park, 126 Harrison St., Braselton
How much: Free to attend
The humane society will have an adoption booth full of homeless dogs looking for their forever homes. Payne said Galilee Veterinary Hospital from Jefferson will conduct low-cost microchipping for dogs on-site.
For canines needing to release some extra energy, Braselton Park will have an agility course, which Payne said prompts dogs to run after a mechanized plastic lure around a zig-zagged layout.
“Basically, there’s an object on a string that goes around, and your dog can chase it,” she said. “It’s really cute to watch.”
Pooches in the Park, which is free to attend, will also host a costume contest, and present trophies to the top two best-dressed canines. Payne said people will have plenty of photo options with their dogs, including six different hand-painted murals for striking a pose. One of the large pieces of art invites dogs to stand in front of a pair of pooch-sized angel wings.
Dogs with an affinity for water are encouraged cool off in the “wet nose water lounge,” an area equipped with kitty pools. Payne said canines can drink or lay in the water, which is changed out frequently during the day.
Those wanting an extra dose of water can pop by the Dixie DockDogs aquatics competition. Payne said it is held in a massive inflatable swimming pool that will take up the entire parking near the tennis courts at Braselton Park.
“Dogs from different parts of the state come for that, and they bring their own judges,” Payne said. “These are dogs that train year-round for this.”
Payne said all the competition’s challenges revolve around the water, including the high jump, which measures how high dogs can leap in the air from the edge of the pool into the water.
Spectators who want in on the action can sign up for the 11 a.m. “Your Dog Can Do This” — a challenge that invites non-competitive canines to put their jumping and swimming skills to the test. On-site registration begins at 8 a.m. prior to the competition.
Dixie DockDogs (continues into Sunday, Sept. 27)
What: Canine aquatics competition
When: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 26 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 27
Where: Parking lot near tennis courts in Braselton Park
How much: Free to attend
Although Pooches in the Park lasts until 4 p.m. Saturday, Payne said the aquatic dog contest will continue into Sunday, Sept. 27, lasting from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We just want people to have fun and to give them a reason to come to downtown Braselton,” Payne said. “We want them to know that downtown Braselton is dog friendly.”
For more information, visit the Pooches in the Park Facebook event page.