Another year of Woofstock packs in the fun for dog lovers

Posted on May 30, 2016 by Marina Tyszkiewicz

A dog takes the wheel during stunt show.
A dog takes the wheel during stunt show.

An estimated 150,000 sets of paws made their way along Woodbine Beach Park this weekend for Woofstocks fourteenth annual dog festival on May 28, and May 29. It’s the largest dog festival in North America, attracting tourists and their furry companions from across Canada and the U.S.

Tightrope walking, handstands, scooters and piano playing dogs, visitors had the opportunity to see it all at this years event, while getting their dogs to participate in the action.

But for Toronto dog owner Elisa Goldfield and Mitsy, her one year-old, Long Hair Chihuahua, the two decided to keep it sheek this year by competing in the Mr. and Ms. Canine Canada Pageant competition.

According to Goldfield the competition was based on the look of the dog, where pet owners took the stage with their dogs and a panel of judges appointed the winner. Goldfield says she has competed every year.

“Every year I come to all the events and every year we’re competing. I pre-ordered this custom outfit about two months ahead,” Goldfield says.

Elisa Goldfield with her dog Mitsy, a contestant for the Mr. and Ms. pageant.
Elisa Goldfield with her dog Mitsy, a contestant for the Mr. and Ms. pageant.

While it was a place of fierce competition for some, for others it was a one-stop shop for all of their pet needs. Up to 200 vendors arrived to celebrate the event, selling pet supplies from clothing to doggy furniture, toys and even treats.

Teanna Lindsay is Woofstocks show manager, she says preparation for the festival takes a year and says this year’s event was packed with more shows and events than the year before.

“We’re constantly planning, constantly creating. This year we have a sporting and education show where we’re teaching people about different activities they can do with their dogs.”

However, adults weren’t the only ones learning about new tricks in the park. Lindsay says this year they had a guest speaker visiting the new Kids Zone to talk to children about bite prevention.

“It’s brand new, we have a woman talking about bite prevention. We’re really big on teaching kids about how to become responsible pet owners," she says.

Lindsay says there was a 28, 000 gallon pool for dogs to swim and cool off in, as well as a disc area for owners and their pets to play.

Dog lovers shopping with their furry companions.
Dog lovers shopping with their furry companions.

But it wasn’t only fun and games for the dogs. Children had a chance to explore their creative side at the Children’s Activity Village, where kids 12 and under got the chance to make crafts and participate in story time with their four legged pals.

Dog steps up to the challenge during the obstacle race.
Dog steps up to the challenge during the obstacle race.

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