puppy palooza

Pooch Palooza returns to Frontier Town in Berlin this Saturday, with activities including a costume contest, tennis ball lottery, lure chasing, competitive dock diving and a pie-eating contest.

From chihuahuas to Great Danes and everything in between, all pet dogs are welcome to return for the Pooch Palooza at Frontier Town in Berlin on Saturday.

The event, sponsored by Grand Living Magazine and coming back after covid-19 shut it down last year, is being marketed as the “Games of the Sixth Pooch Palooza,” said event producer Sandy Phillips.

“It’s a very unique dog festival,” Phillips said. “It’s a day designed with things for your dog to do — not the typical festival where your dog hangs out with you while you go to a bunch of vendors. Even the backyard doggie doesn’t have to be an athlete.”

Events for this year include a costume contest, tennis ball lottery, lure chasing, competitive dock diving and the crowd-favorite pie-eating contest.

“Pie-eating is the most popular event,” Phillips said. “We prepare healthy pie mixtures so it doesn’t interfere with any dog’s special diet.”

The tennis ball lottery involves a helicopter coming in and dropping tennis balls on the ground.

Registration is required for the pie-eating and dock-diving contests, but Pooch Palooza itself doesn’t require pre-registration. Nevertheless, some etiquette rules do apply to dog attendees.

“We prefer to have well-behaved dogs that come in,” Phillips said. “Leashed at all times unless competing in an off-leash event. Leash back on after.”

The event doubles as a fundraiser. Proceeds go to US Kennels Inc., which runs a training facility in Salisbury. The kennel specializes in pairing dogs with military veterans.

Even though Pooch Palooza will be able to take place this year, Phillips said there’s still an element of covid lingering, so organizers are tempering expectations for Saturday. Normally, it can attract upwards of 2,000 people. But in the lead-up to the event, they’re not exactly sure what to expect.

But, Phillips said, they certainly want to capitalize on the pent-up wait for Pooch Palooza’s return.

“We promote it as in, your dog is waiting all year for their day to go out and do stuff,” Phillips said. “But they’ve been waiting a long time. It’s been two years. It’s a great way to bring your dog out, introduce them to new canine sports and activities. We’ve introduced a lot of dogs to lure chasing that have gone on to compete. It’s just a great place to go try for the day and get out and do some things with your dog.”

Pooch Palooza starts at 9:30 a.m. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the gate. For more information, visit https://grandlivingpublishing.com/pooch-palooza or call 410-726-7334.

This story appeared in the print version of Ocean City Today on Sept. 10, 2021.

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