Whether they walk on two feet or four, all creatures are invited to attend the fifth annual Leader Pet Expo from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 5, at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, 10349 Business 21, in Hillsboro.
A number of vendors who offer services and products for pets will be on hand, and lots of family-friendly and pet-friendly entertainment will be included.
Admission to the expo is $1 for humans, who are encouraged to bring their friendly pets at no charge. The admission fee will be donated to the Hillsboro Community Civic Club, which oversees operations at the fairgrounds.
“Last year, we had more than 1,000 people and 200 pets,” Leader assistant publisher Peggy Scott said. “This year, we hope even more people will come out and play. We have an exciting schedule of activities and games for pets and their families.”
A dog show will award cash prizes for biggest, smallest, best trick and best dressed canine. A pet/owner look-alike contest also will be held. The contests start at 2:30 p.m. and hopefuls can sign up at the event.
Pets are not allowed inside the Civic Club building, but are welcome throughout the rest of the grounds. All pets must be on a non-retractable leash or in a secure carrier, and their human companions must clean up after them. Water stations and cleanup supplies will be provided, courtesy of Leader Publications and Old Towne Fenton Veterinary Hospital.
The Leader Publications Pet Expo Calendar, filled with photos of local pets, will be on sale for $10 each. Proceeds from the calendar sales will benefit the veterinary technology program at Jefferson College.
Students from the program also will host a booth with carnival-style games.
Here’s a rundown of the day’s schedule:
■ Tinkerbell the pet T-rex will make an appearance and may even be tame enough for small children to ride for a $10 fee.
■ Face painters, a balloon twist artist and a caricature artist will be on hand to create their magic for a nominal fee.
■ Familiar faces from the Gateway Superfriends group will be on hand to greet guests and pose for photos.
■ Vaccine clinics will be offered throughout the day from House Springs Animal Clinic.
■ The 4-H Horse Experience will offer pony rides for a small fee. Petting, brushing and learning about the ponies is free!
■ Lisa Fererro of Big River Alpacas in Fletcher will bring some of her South American natives, along with a llama.
■ Helping Hands and Horses will have some of its therapy horses on hand, along with humans to explain the program.
■ At 12:30 p.m., organizers with the Hoofprints on My Heart miniature horse encounter will explain the program. They will be at the expo the whole time to give expogoers a chance to interact with these tiny helpers.
■ At 1 p.m., sled dog musher Richie Camden will bring some of his working sled dogs to demonstrate the team’s skill and power.
■ At 2 p.m., “Talk to the Trainer” – Nora from Green Roof Kennels will be on hand to help dog owners with their training questions and problems.
■ At 2:30 p.m., pets and their people can win cash prizes in five contests – biggest dog, smallest dog, best-dressed dog, best trick and look-alike contest for pets and owners. Register for free at the event.
Applause Productions DJ and Video will provide sound at the event, and a variety of food and beverages will be available for purchase.
Grillin’ and Chillin’ will sell nachos, gyros (lamb, chicken or beef) and other treats, and Tropical Treats will sell snow cones, popcorn and kettle corn. Boy Scouts will sell soda, water and beef sticks. Julie’s Little Kitchen food truck will be on hand with Asian food for sale.
The expo is sponsored by Leader Publications and the Hillsboro Community Civic Club.