Furry friends welcome at Pawz in the Park

Story by Jim Zang

Summer 2023

Pawz in the Park is a brand-new Airdrie community event celebrating pets of all kinds. The day is a celebration of all pets, not just dogs and cats, with pet-related vendor booths and fun activities like weiner dog races and a canine agility demonstration and course that you can actually try with your pet.

Pawz in the Park is the vision come-to-life of Melissa Little, owner of Prime Pawz Boutique.

“After being a vendor at Calgary’s Pet-a-Palooza, held every year in downtown Calgary, I knew that Airdrie was missing out. I wanted to bring a one-of-a-kind pet-focused market to Airdrie and invited Alicia Harrison to partner with me.”

After having side-by-side booths at a holiday market, Mel and Alicia hit it off and came up with the idea of the outdoor pet party. In addition to having a wealth of experience working at various trade shows, their qualifications include, of course, a love of animals.

“I’m the proud guardian of a rescue dog from Megan’s Rescue Effort Society,” says Little. “Her full name is Ahsoka (from Star Wars) however she gets Soka for short – she is a rescue special which means 1000 per cent cute! She will be four at the end of September!

“After adopting Soka, I got to know Megan, the owner and now I help her out as much as I can. Another reason I wanted to create this event is to showcase Megan’s Rescue Effort Society as well as many other great rescues doing amazing work. We are selling 50/50 and raffle tickets to raise money for Megan’s Rescue Effort Society.”

Harrison is the proud guardian of two fur babies, dogs Ripley and Penny.

“Ripley is a pitbull mix from Pawsitive Match Rescue and Penny is from a rescue in Sayulita, Mexico. We also have an axolotl named Dibs and foster various animals.”

Little is hoping for a big turnout from the public and already has more than 80 vendors signed up to attend, including local artisans, veterinarians, animal services – and nearly 20 rescue organizations or non-profits.

“It’s something both of us are incredibly proud of!” says Little.

There will be lots of free samples at the booths and there’s even a pupachino station and photo booth that are sure to be popular with attendees and their pets, while food trucks will offer a variety of options including, yes, those awesome hot and sugary mini donuts.

Pawz in the Park takes place Saturday, July 22, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Nose Creek Park. Admission is free for both four and two-legged attendees, who are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for the Veteran’s Food Bank

“We urge people to donate to one of the many rescues,” says Little, “even’s if its only a few dollars.”