Woof-Fest at Tri-Rivers Fair Saturday

The Tri-Rivers Fair, in cooperation with the Salina Kennel Club, will feature the first ever Woof-Fest at the Fair, from 1-5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12 at the Great Plains Manufacturing Convention Hall inside Tony’s Pizza Event Center.

“It will be an afternoon of demonstrations, information and fun,” Kim Norwood, Woof-Fest committee co-chair said. “I had a great committee helping plan and put this event together.”

Salina Kennel Club member Rachel Weaver also served as co-chair.

A new event at the Tri-Rivers Fair

“I am a member of both the Tri-Rivers Fair board and the Salina Kennel Club,” Norwood said. “On the fair board, we had conversations about what new events to coordinate, when we lost the rodeo and moved the demo derby. It was literally an epiphany I had sitting at my dining room table last year working on fair stuff, and I thought, ‘Why don’t we just partner these two organizations.’”

Norwood remembered a recent event in previous years the Salina Kennel Club coordinated called Fur & Fun, that had been held in the fall at Kenwood Park.

“Last year around fair time, I was thinking, the fair is always looking for new partners, and trying to bring new people to the fair who might not previously attend,” Norwood said “I thought we could do something like Fur & Fun during the fair.”

After getting the idea approved by the Tri-Rivers Fair board, she approached the Salina Kennel Club about the possibility of coordinating an event during the fair, with demonstrations and information about dog breeds and their abilities. The club approved, and spent the winter and spring organizing the event. The big difference between Woof-Fest and the previous Salina Kennel Club event, is that the public is asked to leave their dogs at home, with the education and information from the event available to be taken back to their furry friends.

Education includes demonstrations, breed introductions and an information booth about the Salina Kennel Club. Demonstrations begin at 1 p.m. with breed introductions beginning at 2 p.m. on stage.

Woof-Fest demonstrations will begin with the barn hunt course at 1 p.m. There will be multiple demonstration rings set up in the convention hall, and the barn hunt will involve straw bales with hidden “prey” tucked away that the dogs will have to find. The barn hunt demonstration will also run at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

At 1:15 p.m. the Woof-Fest agility demonstration will begin at Woof-Fest, with additional agility demonstrations scheduled at 2:15 p.m. and 3:15 p.m.

“Agility is a fan favorite because of the speed and how the handler and the dog work together over the agility course,” Norwood said.

Woof-Fest rally demonstrations will begin at 1:30 p.m. with additional demonstrations at 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. According to Norwood, the rally events demonstrate the communication between the handler and the dog in completing various tasks.

At 1:45 p.m. dogs at Wolf Fest will demonstrate conformation and scent work, with additional demonstrations at 2:45 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. The demonstration will show how dogs have learned to find things be scent only.

Woof-Fest breed introductions at 2 p.m. will occur on the stage at Woof-Fest, with each breed allocated 15 minutes to share details about breed characteristics and abilities. The breeds will be divided into the categories of toy dogs, non-sporting, terriers, hounds, working, herding and sporting.

“Most people just think of the main big breeds, German Shepards and poodles,” Norwood said. “Even in our community, we have a great breadth of different breeds. Woof-Fest gives people and opportunity to get up close to them and see what they can do.”

A few unique breeds that will be shared from stage include the Basenji, a African barkless dog; the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling dog, a hunting dog and Tibetan Spaniels. Other common breeds like Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers; Australian Shepards and German Shepards and Schnauzers will also be discussed from stage.

A trick dog demonstration will also be showcased on the Woof-Fest stage.

Several “working” dogs will be attending Wolf Fest to show off for the public, with demonstrations starting at 4 p.m. A local police dog will demonstrate the skills used on the job with the force; a search and rescue dog will demonstrate tracking skills which can be used by emergency management services and a therapy dog will also show off.

The Salina Kennel Club will offer the public an opportunity to purchase small baskets complete with canine and fun items during Woof-Fest. Raffle items will also be available for the public to participate in, with ticket pricing starting at six tickets for $5; 15 tickets for $10 and 30 tickets for $20. The drawing for the raffle will be at 3:45 p.m.

The Salina Kennel Club includes over 50 members, working together to coordinate the 2023 Woof-Fest. The president of the Salina Kennel Club is Kimberly Jacobson.

“We’re excited,” Norwood said. “We love talking about our dogs and demonstrating their skills, talents, uniqueness and fun personalities.”

Norwood encourages any organization that might have something to showcase during the annual Tri-Rivers Fair to consider partnering like the Salina Kennel Club has.

“The Tri-Rivers Fair welcomes any other local organization to be considered as a future partner with a new event at the fair,” Norwood said.