The Greenway Public Arts Committee is unveiling a new event this year called “Waggin’ on the Way.”
The event will be held at the Raider Drive Park on the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway.
GPAC committee member Glo Ghegan said the event will be a fun opportunity for dog owners and pet enthusiasts to have a good time while supporting the future of art on the Greenway.
The idea started when Ghegan suggested that it would be good for the committee to organize an event in addition to the annual Chalk the Walk each year.
“I said, ‘Let’s do a dog show; better than a dog show, let’s do a canine circus,’” Ghegan said.
The event on Sept. 14, from 2 to 4 p.m., will feature costume and best-in-show competitions with ribbons and bragging rights going to the winners.
The event is being sponsored by the Ocoee Foundation, Hardwick Clothes and Faithful Friend Pet Crematory and Funeral Home.
“Ocoee Foundation is focusing on wanting to create a first-class dog park,” Ghegan said.
Conceptual drawings for the desired park will be available for view at the GPAC event.
Categories will include open class, best dressed and best costume. Each costume category will have four places.
Participation in the contests is $10.
“The $10 is going to get you an entrance into any of the costume contests, any of the best in show and … a goodie bag,” Ghegan said.
The bags will be supplied with a leash, a dog toy, a cookie for the dog and candy for the owner.
The event is free for those who just want to come and watch.
Ghegan said cookies suitable for human consumption will be available for purchase for $1.
“We wanted it to be a fun day where people came and learned about the dog park … and educate people on things they might not have seen,” Ghegan said.
Dogs can be registered the day of the event.
Best in show will have three categories of dogs divided by weight, and an overall winner will be chosen from those three.
“Best in show is going to be judged on how well they walk on their leash, how neat and cleanly groomed they are — not meaning they have to be ‘poodle groomed,’ but they have to be clean and presentable — as well as how much attention the dog pays to its handler,” Ghegan said. “These are all nonprofessional judges.”
An agility course and barn hunt demonstration will be part of the event.
While the judges for the contests will be members of the community and not professional judges, the agility course demonstration will feature agility judge Carla Boudrot.
“She travels all over the country judging agility,” Ghegan said
Boudrot will also give a nose demonstration of the smelling skills that dogs use to find humans or even bombs.
“There will be boxes and the scent that the dog is trying to find is in one of these boxes,” Ghegan said.
A barn hunt is a similar smelling exercise. Only in this demonstration the dog is trying to find a container of live rats.
“The rats are in the container, and no rat is hurt,” Ghegan said.
Ghegan said barn hunt competitions are growing in popularity.
Services available to pets and pet owners will be featured along the Raider Drive section of the Greenway to provide awareness about pet acupuncture, spay/neuter services, grooming, preventative care and service animals.
Ghegan said the grooming area will focus on extreme makeovers.
Some rescue dogs will also be groomed at the event in hopes of getting them adopted.
After the agility demonstration, owners will have the opportunity to take their dogs through the course.
Ghegan said she hopes the dog-themed day will become an annual event.
All proceeds from “Waggin’ on the Way” will go toward future art projects on the Greenway.
This could include another sculpture, performance space or mural. Ghegan said while there is not a specific next project that can be announced publically, both GPAC and the Greenway Board are full of dreams.