Gather your four-legged friends and be prepared to have a barking good time.
The 14th annual Bandshell Bark will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 14 at Roxbury Bandshell in Roxbury Park, Franklin Street, Johnstown.
The event is a dog-walk fundraiser to support the Roxbury Bandshell Preservation Alliance and canine-related projects.
“Support for the event has been overwhelming in the past 14 years. We are even more excited for this year’s event,” said Eileen Graham, event chairwoman.
“Having this unique event to allow a day for the dogs is really fun for everyone involved – pet owners, vendors and event spectators.”
After a walk down the red carpet, dogs and their owners will walk four times around the park.
The walk ends with a finish-line festival complete with musical entertainment on the bandshell stage, food, refreshments and dog photo opportunities provided by Judy Crookston Photography.
There also will be information on local pet- and non-pet-related organizations.
“Our goal is to have 100-plus dogs at the park this year,” Graham said.
The day will feature a pet contest, which includes categories in best dressed, cutest canine, best dancer, longest kiss, tremendously talented, most mannered, best costume and best barker.
There also will be a team spirit contest for local high school students, along with their canine friends. Students are encouraged to display school spirit and dress their pooches as their high school mascots. Winners will be awarded certificates and prizes.
Returning this year is the wiener dog races and wiener dog wannabe races. Participants are encouraged to dress their canines as hot dogs to add to the fun.
In addition, the dog-kissing booth will be available to smooch your pooch.
Once again, Johnstown Concert Ballet will sell tutus for dogs as a fundraiser for the dance school.
To keep pets cool, there will be watering stations and swimming pools in the park.
Winners of the baskets of chance will be announced at 2:30 p.m.
Proceeds will benefit the Humane Society of Cambria County.
“They really need the support of the local community to do what they do – shelter and care for animals until they find their ‘fur-ever’ homes,” Graham said.
“I hope including them in this year’s funding will help them continue to take care of animals that ultimately take care of us humans.”
Registration fee is $10 per dog through Sept. 10 and $15 per dog after that date. For an additional $12, participants can purchase a commemorative anniversary Bandshell Bark T-shirt. All registered participants in the dog walk will receive a bandana for their pet.
Participant registration forms are available at www.roxburybandshell.com.
Organizers are seeking donations for baskets of chance and sponsors for the event, bandanas and T-shirts.
Additional vendors of pet- and non-pet-related products and services also are being sought.
A rain date of Sept. 28 has been set in case of inclement weather.
A few guidelines will be in effect for the Bandshell Bark:
• There should be no more than two friendly dogs per person, and all dogs at the park must be registered and owners pay the sign-up fee.
• Participants younger than 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
• Dogs must be kept off the sports fields in the center of the park, and a 6-foot or shorter non-retractable leash should be used.
• Dogs must be licensed, have current identification tags and be up-to-date on required shots.
The Roxbury Bandshell was built in 1939 during the Great Depression as a tribute to the strength of the
Johnstown people and their determination to survive the Depression and to build a better future.
The bandshell was filled with songs of hope and optimism, where entertainment could uplift people fighting through the economic struggles of their day.
The Roxbury Bandshell is one of last 27 public original bandshells remaining in the United States.
“We are proud to say we are debt- free. Because of the support of our community and our volunteers, we have been able to save this historic landmark,” said Mary Borkow, president of the Roxbury Bandshell Preservation Alliance.
For more information on the Bandshell Bark, call Graham at 814-241-9004 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.