BUCKHANNON – This weekend’s Fall Fest is pet furr-iendly.

Luv 4 Animals and the Buckhannon Dog Park have partnered together to bring Paws in the Park during the weekend-long celebration.

Paws in the Park will take place Saturday, Sept. 28 at the grassy lot across from the 88 Restaurant & Lounge and behind the Stockert Youth and Community Center. The event will kick off with the first 5k9 and 1k Wag and Walk with registration starting at 9 a.m. and the race beginning at 9:30 a.m.

There is still time to register for the race and people can register the day of the race for $20.

Chairman of the Buckhannon Dog Park Lisa Critchfield said she thinks the race is the perfect way to start the day.

“This is our first ever 5k9 and 1k Wag and Walk and I hope it really gets everybody up and moving at the beginning of the day,” Critchfield said. “I think exercise is really important for humans and pets, so I’m really excited that we’re doing that this year.”

The blessing of the pets by Father Joseph McLaughlin will begin at 10:30 a.m. and that is also when all the vendors and shelters with adoptable animals will be set up. There will be a number of vendors selling goods or offering services. Pet Supplies Plus from Clarksburg will be there to do nail trims and grooming; Allegheny Veterinary Series will be offering vaccinations such as rabies for $15, DAP for $23, Lepto for $24, Bordatella for $23; and the Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility will be doing microchipping for $14.

“I think it’s great that we will be able to offer these services because it makes it more accessible to people, and it’s at a lower cost,” Critchfield said.

The Cheat Canyon Soap Company will be offering homemade dog soaps, human soaps and CBD oil for pets and treats, while Tina’s Tie Dying will be tie dying shirts. The Animal Outreach Project will be having a bake sale to raise money for spay and neuter services.

President of Luv 4 Animals Desiree Poling said the Pet Show will start at 1 p.m. with a lot of fun categories for people to choose from.

“Our pet show categories are not your typical categories. We will have the waggiest tail, best ears and best kisser, so we have some fun categories and a kid can enter one category for free, and then everybody else or any additional category will be $5 an entry as a donation,” Poling said. “There will be prizes and ribbons given out for the winners and Wet Nose Photography has donated our bigger prizes, which is a Halloween photo shoot with your pet.”

At 2:30 p.m., the Pet Parade will begin where anyone is welcome to bring their animals and the group will parade done the sidewalks of Main Street.

“Anyone can participate, even if you don’t have an animal, but we really want to encourage people to bring them and show them off and have a good time together – it’ll be super fun,” Poling said.

Poling said various businesses in town have signed up to be Tour of the Town Business “Paw”tners where these businesses will be offering something pet-friendly on top of their usual services.

“It’s kind of tour around town where we can promote businesses in town where they will have specials like dog dishes where you can eat outside and just explore the town with your pet,” Poling said.

Participants in the Tour of the Town Business “Paw”tners are Fox’s Pizza, Pita My Heart, Law Offices of Daya Masada Wright, Wild Vinyasa Yoga Studio, Merle Norman and the Pink Hydrangea boutique, Fish Hawk Acres, Almost Heaven CrossFit and Strawberry Essences Florist and Fruit Creations.

The money raised through Paws in the Park will be split between Luv 4 Animals and the Buckhannon Dog Park.

“The Dog Park will use the money we receive for upkeep like mowing or if we need to repair anything which, unfortunately, we already have had to do because of some vandalism,” Critchfield said.

She said the Dog Park will also use the money for building the memorial they have been working on and hopefully getting their security cameras up sometime before next year.

“Then, we will use some of that money to host a second fundraiser that we will have on Dec. 7 called Whisker Wonderland,” Critchfield said. “This is kind of like the feeder to our bigger fundraiser.”

Poling said people are welcome to bring any of their pets, so long as they are friendly and on a leash.

“Everyone is, of course, welcome to bring any animal as long as they are on a leash or in a container,” Poling said. “We do request that they just be friendly because we want everybody to be safe and have a good time.”

The event sponsors include Dean and Connie Everett, Connie’s Clubhouse: Bed, Barbour & Beyond, Jen Kesling State Farm and Wet Nose Photography.