Get ready for some free doggone fun with the St. Charles County Parks and Recreation Department! Dog lovers and their pets from across the region are invited to Broemmelsiek Park in Defiance from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 14, for the 16th annual Paws in the Park dog festival. The event, which supports local animal shelters, is the largest of its kind in St. Charles County and takes place at the park’s Off-Leash Dog Area, 1795 Highway DD.
Bring your pooch to the park for an exciting lineup of contests, prizes, business exhibitors/vendors and sponsor giveaways, as well as K-9 obedience skills demonstrations! Admission is free, but those who bring a pet supply donation will receive a special gift. Donations benefit the St. Charles County Pet Adoption Center and Five Acres Animal Shelter. Monetary donations also will be accepted.
The day’s agenda is as follows:
10 a.m. Pet Blessing with Baue Pet Services: A prayer and blessing of your pet will kick off the celebration. Each owner will receive a special prayer card to take home.
10:30 a.m. Dog contests: Including Best Costume, Best Trick, Fastest Ball Retrieval from the Pond, Best Dog/Owner Look-Alike, Best Kisser and new this year, Best Catwalk and Best Agility, will be judged by our corporate sponsors under the pavilion in the dog park. Winners will receive a commemorative medal.
11:15 a.m. St. Charles County Police K-9 Unit Performs: Police officers and their partners conduct a series of drug search demonstrations using a seized car, as well as obedience skills demonstrations. Police Officer Courtney Spiess and K-9 Tank will perform lost child and fugitive tracking, as well as narcotics detection demos; Police Officer Tony Hojsik and K-9 Fleck showcase narcotics detection demos; and Police Officer Mark Thomas and K-9 Tyson and Police Officer Mike Wilkins and K-9 Red execute fugitive apprehension and narcotics detection demonstrations. Following the performances, these officers will be available to answer questions and talk to guests.
12 p.m. Canine Search and Rescue Association K-9 Teams Perform: This team of certified volunteers and K-9s conduct a series of missing person search demonstrations. Demonstrators will be available to answer questions and talk to guests about their non-profit organization after the performance.
12:45 p.m. Gateway DockDogs Team Performs: A Dockdogs team will demonstrate how to get “big air” as they show off the popular sport of dock diving from the pond in the Off-Leash Dog Area. After the demonstration, dogs and their owners get to test their diving and water skills.
Corporate sponsors of this year’s event include Farmers Cooperative Elevator Association – Old Town County Store, St. Peters; Royal Canin, St. Charles; and Yuppy Puppy Pet Spa, O’Fallon. Event sponsors are WestInn Kennels, Wentzville; Crossroad Veterinary Hospital, Wentzville; and Vet Stop Animal Clinic, St. Peters. These and other participating businesses will offer product samples and giveaways throughout the day. Additionally, a limited number of pets will be available for adoption from the St. Charles County Pet Adoption Center.
For more information about the Paws in the Park celebration or to become an exhibitor/vendor at the event, call the Parks Department at 636-949-7535. Exhibitor/vendor registration and payment is due by Aug. 30.
The park’s 5-acre dog park is a popular place for dogs to play year-round. The beautifully manicured fenced area has a large pond with dock and a pavilion with benches, making it the perfect location to host this community event. The Broemmelsiek Park Off-Leash Dog Area was voted “Best of” by readers of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Go! Magazine List 2018 and was a Riverfront Times Readers’ Choice winner in 2011.