Rogers Bridge Park in Duluth was overrun with pets and their people Sunday (Oct. 7) for the Chattapoochee Pet Fest.
Chattapoochee Dog Park was busy as dogs exercised their owners in fenced area for large and small canines. The adjacent field was overflowing with 46 booths offering pet food samples, promoting pet services and displaying pet clothing and accessories for sale. People food was also available.
Chattapoochee Dog Park’s Mayor “Shiner” welcomed visitors, and real Duluth Mayor Nancy Harris joined in the fun activities at the day-long festival presented by the Duluth Historical Society. The society operates the Duluth History Museum in the Strickland House, founding site of the Gwinnett Humane Society.
"Shiner" also spent some time dispensing doggie kisses to festival visitors at his "Kissing Booth."
Sponsors were the Duluth Parks and Recreation Department, Duluth Animal Hospital, and Gwinnett Medical Center. Several rescue groups brought dogs and cats for adoption.
Volunteers with the Southeastern Railway Museum displayed an engine that had been used to pull cars carrying visitors at the Birmingham, AL, Zoo. Children and pets posed for photos on the engine. The nearby museum has started running a Park Train ride.
Owners paraded their creatively costumed dogs in front of judges to compete for prize bags. Some of the owners wore complementary costumes.
The winner in the small dog category (under 30 pounds) was "Chloe," owned by Karen Lee-Christian. Attired in a glittery blue ball gown, pawlets and a tiara, Chloe posed on miniature “Dancing with the Dogs” stage decorated with a mirror ball overhead, trophy, along with cutouts of the announcers and the celebrity judges displaying scores of “10.”
Diana Taylor transformed “Ari” into a realistic looking camel to take the prize in the over 30-pounds category.
Dr. Gina Alexander conducted a pet blessing. Each pet participating in the ceremony received a ribbon for owners to tie to their collars.
Other activities included pet training demonstrations and a silent auction.