The 16th Annual Canine Christmas Festival will be held November 15th 10:00am-3:00pm at the Bishop Animal Shelter, 5781 21st Avenue West, Bradenton, on 59th St., across from Blake Hospital. Animal Network and Bishop Animal Shelter are hosting this family-fun and well attended event.
Created 16 years ago to support animal rescue, the event raises funds that save hundreds of pets’ lives each year by providing them with much needed medical care, networking to find forever homes and heartworm treatment. The goal for this year’s Canine Christmas is 100 adoptions, so for anyone looking for a dog or cat, this is the day to see many pets for adoption and find your forever friend.
The festival has new features for 2014, including live music performed by the popular Kim
Betts and the Gamble Creek Band. Also new is the Doggy Fun Zone obstacle course for all size dogs to run as they chase an elusive lure through a fully enclosed Grand Prix style raceway. Absolutely no prior training or experience is needed. Pets can have their portraits taken with Santa Claus and enter the Fashion Show and Costume Contest hosted again this year by Susan Marie of “The Doggy Diva,” show. Prizes will be awarded for Best Overall, Best Christmas, Most Creative, Best Group (2 or more), Best Dog Owner Look-A-Like and Best Diva.
The Parade of Adoptable Dogs at 12:00 will shine a spotlight on the adoptable dogs available, which range from tiny Chihuahuas to large Bulldog mixes.
There will be food trucks as well as over 50 vendors at the event, offering holiday toys, treats, apparel and gifts for people and pets. The festival t-shirt will be a collector’s item. The shirt is custom designed by Emerson Quillin, a well-known artist who has a shop on Pine Avenue. The custom design is available for purchase as a t-shirt, tote bag, coffee mug, ornament and Christmas stocking. There will also be a 50/50 auction, raffle prizes and silent auction items. Manatee County Animal Services Officers will also be on hand to educate pet owners on the importance of tag compliance and micro chipping. County residents can purchase their pet license for just $15 with proof of a current rabies vaccines. Dogs are welcome to attend the festival, but must be social, on a 6 foot leash, and wearing their county tags.
Admission to Canine Christmas is $3 per person and kids under 12 are free. Entrance to the festival grounds is located at 5781 21st Avenue West in Bradenton. Handicapped parking is available, and the property is wheelchair accessible. For more information, a schedule of events, directions to the event and vendor applications, please visit www.caninechristmas.com.