If you were sad you missed the Humane Society of Greater Savannah's 13th annual Doggie Carnival, then you're in luck.
The event was rescheduled for noon-6 p.m. June 2 at Forsyth Park and according to Erin Fontes, Humane Society's volunteer and special programs coordinator, "It's going to be the biggest carnival we have ever done. We had to reschedule the event due to reports calling for heavy thunder and strong winds."
She added the carnival will be worth the wait. The event has been extended by two hours and will take place on and around the bandshell area of the park.
"We are adding live bands and carnival-type acts for the stage," Fontes said. "This will also be the first year for a beer garden."
The Humane Society will also celebrate the first anniversary of Operation New Hope at the carnival.
"Operation New Hope is a partnership we have with the Chatham County Sheriff's Office," Fontes said. "We take the dogs we have who are very hyper or require extra care to stay with a low-risk inmate at the jail. The dogs learn to become housetrained and get more attention than what we can give them at the shelter.
"The dogs are returned to the shelter after they complete the four-week training program and we can have better success getting them adopted," Fontes added. "We will have our new graduates of the program at the carnival and the sheriff's office will have a booth with lots of goodies to give away."
While the new events and new location are going to be a big hit, carnivalgoers will want to come for old favorites like the Savannah Kennel Club's Doggie Derby.
"The Savannah Kennel Club has faithfully put on this event at the carnival every year and everyone loves it," Fontes said. "It's probably the most popular attraction. They set up four lanes for dog races. It's all fenced in and the categories are split up by the dogs' sizes.
"The owners have to coax their dog down to end of the lane. The kennel club is also great about providing all the ribbons and prizes for the race," Fontes explained.
Of course it isn't a carnival without clowns, bounce houses, face painting and games, and the Humane Society plans to deliver the full carnival experience.
"Everything works with tickets and you have to have a ticket to play," Fontes explained. "We have games for people and stuff for the dogs like onsite nail clippings, grooming, treats and games. But entrance to the event is free, so you can skip the tickets and just walk around the park and enjoy the atmosphere if you want. Tickets are $1 each and we accept cash or credit cards."
Those aren't the only tickets for sale. Attendees can purchase raffle tickets for $5 and the raffle prizes range from a new bike, golf bag, hotel rooms, dinners, acupuncture treatments, six months of dog food and a large variety of retail items.
"We are also giving away 500 goodie bags to the first 500 ticket buyers," Fontes said. "The bags are filled with lots of treats and coupons for local businesses."
Along with the beer garden, the carnival will host several popular food vendors.
"We have a new food vendor this year, Bier Haus - they are also a new business to Savannah," Fontes said. "We will also have Ruth's Chris and Taco Abajo."
And if you're looking for something on the sweet side, then you'll be happy to know TailsSpin will be back again to make smoothies.
"They make them every year and people line up for them," Fontes added.
She laughed at the thought of having to reschedule the event again.
"We are having it rain or shine," Fontes said. "But hopefully the weather will cooperate because it's just going to be too much fun for everyone."
IF YOU GO
What: 13th annual Doggie Carnival
When: Noon-6 p.m. June 2
Where: Forsyth Park
Cost: Free entrance, tickets $1, raffle tickets $5
Info: Humane Society of Greater Savannah, 912-354-9515
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
12:15 p.m.: K9 Unit Demo
12:30 p.m.: Fly Fitness Studios - Aerial Silk performance, first act of magic show
12:45 p.m.: Introduction of Holly Metts with Forsyth Park Animal Hospital
1 p.m.: Operation New Hope Presentation - Col. Wilcher, guest speaker
1:30 p.m.: Best Dog Trick
1:45 p.m.: Fly Fitness Studios - second act of magic show
2:15 p.m.: First raffle drawing, Owner/Dog Look-alike Contest
2:30 p.m.: Deja Who?
3:15 p.m.: Final raffle drawing
3:45 p.m.: Waits & Co.
4:30 p.m.: Fly Fitness Studio - third act of magic show
5 p.m.: Bottles 'N' Cans
5:50 p.m.: Closing ceremonies