Jackson Dog Park plans grand opening event

VIENNA – A new park allows dogs to run free in Vienna.

The Mid-Ohio Valley Paws’ fourth Festival of Dogs will present the Jackson Dog Park grand opening celebration from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. May 5.

The dog park is made possible by Mid-Ohio Valley Paws, volunteers and the city of Vienna. Miranda Haught, director of MOV Paws, said she wanted a place for residents to bring their pets for leash-free play.

“It’s a great way to celebrate the grand opening,” she said of the event. “Having the community support will help further the different developments for benches and the smaller dog park.”

The city donated the land and fencing for the park, organizers said. The park was constructed over an old baseball field. The dog park opened in October, but coordinators wanted to have the grand opening closer to summer.

Volunteers have painted paws on the wood of the former dugouts at the park.

Organizers want to establish an addition to the park, allowing for smaller dogs (weighing about 20 pounds or less) to have a safe or more comfortable area for play, Haught said. They are also looking to add seating in the form of benches for patrons of the park, she said.

Haught said the money raised through events, including a two-mile run (doggie dash), children’s pageant, pet pageant, scavenger hunt, music, food, fun and prizes, will go to maintaining and adding to the park.

The schedule of events follows:

* 12:30 p.m.: Registration for the doggie dash begins at the picnic shelter near the new tennis courts. Participants can run alone or with a leashed four-legged friend. Cost is $20 and includes a T-shirt. The T-shirts will have the names of those who donated to the cause on the back if $25 is given to Haught by April 20. The race begins at 1 p.m. and people can pre-register by email or through Facebook.

* 1:30 p.m.: Registration begins for the children’s pageant at the community building in Jackson Memorial Park. Cost is $30 and includes a T-shirt. The pageant will begin at 2 p.m. Divisions are girls ages 3-5 Tiny Miss MOV Paws, 6-9 Little Miss MOV Paws and 10-13 Junior Miss MOV Paws. Boys ages 3-7 Little Mister MOV Paws.

Awards will be given to the first and second runners-up in each division and the king and queens will reign over the festival and other events throughout the year. Registration must take place before April 15.

* 2:30 p.m.: Registration begins for the pet pageant at the community building. The pageant will begin at 3 p.m. and cost is $10 for one pet, $15 for two, etc. Additional pets will require a $5 donation. Divisions for the pageant are Little Miss and Little Mister (pets under 20 pounds), Miss and Mr. (pets 21 pounds and over), best trick, best in show and look-a-like winner. Any wardrobe, including bows and outfits, allowed. Adhesive tape or other means of attachment of clothing or signs to the pet will result in disqualification.

A scavenger hunt will take place throughout the park. The first 10 teams, each team must include a dog, to complete the hunt will receive a prize. Cost to enter per team is $5.