Pooch Palooza returns this Saturday

The event raises money for Friends of the Destin Dog Park projects like the paw paver that was recently installed.

Annie Blanks | 315-4450 | @DestinLogAnnie |
An aerial view shows the new paw paver at the entrance to the big dog park. The Destin Dog Park is holding its second annual Pooch Palooza event this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. SPECIAL TO THE LOG

There will be more than the usual amount of wagging tails and sloppy kisses at the Destin Dog Park this Saturday.

The second annual Pooch Palooza will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and organizers say this year’s event will have plenty for pups and their two-legged counterparts to do.

“We have all kinds of fun stuff this year,” said Barb Telford, a volunteer with Friends of the Destin Dog Park. “Vendor booths, nonprofit rescues, raffles, a silent auction, face painting for kids and stencils for the dogs.”

The Pooch Palooza is an event the Friends of the Destin Dog Park puts on once a year to raise money for projects for their park. The FDDP raised $3,000 last year and put it towards the paw paver project they just finished in the big dog park. Saturday’s event will kick off with an official ribbon cutting ceremony for the big dog park.

This year, Telford said they hope to raise money to build an agility park for dog training, which she expects to put behind the small dog park if it’s approved by Destin City Council.

“It’ll be about half the size of the small dog park,” Telford said. “It’ll have agility equipment and fun activities for dog training.”

The Panhandle Animal Welfare Society, or PAWS, will be on hand Saturday with their van and will be offering $5 rabies shots and $10 microchipping. Additionally, the FDDP is asking people to bring donations of leashes, collars, toys, paper towels and food to help with PAWS’ animal care needs.

Entrance to the event is free, though Telford said they welcome donations to the dog park.

Other dog groups will be there Saturday, including the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office K9 unit and the Hurlburt Field K9 unit. The groups will give demonstrations and presentations.  

Lance Johnson, director of the parks and recreation department for the city of Destin and master of ceremonies for Pooch Palooza, said the event is a great way for people and their pups to get out on a Saturday.

“It brings all the dog lovers together, for sure, and the ribbon cutting is perfect to kick off the Pooch Palooza event,” he said. “The money that they raise at Pooch Palooza is used for projects like the paver project … it’s a pleasant public partnership and all the friends really make this event happy.”