"Each year, Bark in the Park has gotten bigger and bigger and we've found we need more room," said Lisa Allison, executive director of Friends of Animals Utah (FOAU). "Last year it was at Willow Creek Park and this year we're at Trailside."
While the place has changed, the goal hasn't, Allison said.
"Bark in the Park has been going on for six years and the original goal, as with everything we do, is to raise community awareness about who we are, what we do and hold a fundraiser," she explained. "Park City for the most part is a health-conscious community and people like to be out walking or jogging with their dogs, so this was a great way to bring all of those things together."
Throughout the years, FOAU has added a few things to the event.
"The '5K-9' race was added after the first year and then we added the 1K walk for those who aren't as energetic in the morning," Allison said. "We wanted just to have something for those who are older or younger or those who have puppies."
The cost to register for the '5K-9' race is $35.
"There is no cost to enter the 1K, unless participants want to receive a bag of goodies," Allison said. "If that's the case, then the cost is also $35."
Runners can also ask their friends and families to sponsor them for the fun run, Allison said.
"The money raised through them will help all the dogs and cats in our care, and we do have prizes for people who raise money for the run," she explained.
If runners raise $100, they get a FOAU baseball cap. If they raise $250, they get a FOAU stadium blanket.
Those who raise $1,000 will get a duffle bag and a $100 Tanger Outlet gift card.
Anyone who raises at least a minimum of $1,000 will be eligible for the grand prize: a $500 Tanger Outlet gift card.
"We will also have prizes for people who place in the race, or place in certain age groups," Allison said.
This year's race mascot is a dog named Ben.
"Every year we have a 'Face of the Race,' and Ben is a dog that was struck by a car, paralyzed and discarded by his owners last winter," Allison said. "The community rallied around him. His foster family has adopted him and he is now walking, running and swimming."
A pancake breakfast that will cost $5 per person will immediately follow the race.
After that, the event turns into a family-fun day, Allison said.
"We will have games for pets and owners including musical sit, which is like musical chairs, but we don't use chairs, a Frisbee toss competition and baby pools for the dogs to wade in," she said. "Other activities will include best tricks, 'American Howl,' which is like American Idol for the dog, and a look-alike contest. And Summit County K-9 will come and show off their working dogs, so there is a lot going on."
The Boy Scouts will serve lunch.
"We're helping the Scouts out and lunch will be their fundraiser," Allison said.
One of the highlights will be the dog obstacle course that is presented yearly by Course a'Lure, an organization that travels around the western United States to pet events.
Owners can run their dogs through the course, or compete with other owners and dogs, and everyone can watch, Allison said.
"They will be back because everyone likes seeing the dogs run the course," she said with a laugh. "Now we're at Trailside, we have a huge space, so they will have plenty of space to set up. And Course a'Lure will donate a portion of their proceeds to Friends of Animals."
Bark in the Park will also feature various vendors, sponsors and other nonprofit organizations.
"We donate space to our sponsors and other nonprofits, which are usually comprised of other animal rescue organizations, free of charge," Allison said. "That way people can learn about who they are and what they do, too.
"We also work with a domestic violence coalition on our 'Purple Paw' project that provides shelter for pets whose owners are in abusive situations," she said. "And there will also be vendors who sell all sorts of things for your pet."
Friends of Animals Utah will host its annual Bark in the Park dog festival and 5K-9 run on Saturday, July 20, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. This year's event will take place at Trailside Park. Admission is free for spectators and dogs. Race registration, found at www.foautah.org , ends on July 18. The cost is $35. A pancake breakfast will be available for $5. All proceeds will benefit Friends of Animals Utah. For more information, visit www.foautah.org.