At the WAIF Wag ‘n’ Walk 2017, dogs ran in the agility course, demonstrating their canine skills. This year will also feature similar events. (File photo)

At the WAIF Wag ‘n’ Walk 2017, dogs ran in the agility course, demonstrating their canine skills. This year will also feature similar events. (File photo)

WAIF Wag ‘n’ Walk festival will be fun and games

It’s a day for the dogs — and their owners too. The Whidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation is hosting their annual Wag ‘n’ Walk festival 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19 at the Greenbank Farm.

“This is one of the few dog-friendly events on Whidbey Island,” WAIF Associate Director Cinnamon Hudgins said. “And it’s a fun event to get animal-lovers together.”

The fun begins at 10 a.m. with a timed 5K run along North Bluff Road, followed by a shorter 1K walk. The fundraising event costs $35 to register for the 5K and $25 for the 1K. Every runner gets a participation ribbon, and the top three finishers get a small prize, such as a water bottle or a t-shirt.

The free festival kicks off at 11 a.m. There will be dog agility demonstrations and an acknowledgement of “WAIF alumni,” dogs that were adopted from WAIF. There will be a beer and wine garden and food vendors. At 1:15 p.m., the contests and games begin.

There will be a costume contest to elect a “king” and “queen” of the day, a crowd-selected pick of two people who are best-dressed for this year’s theme of “under the sea.”

A dog-friendly ice cream eating contest will challenge pets and their owners to down their ice-cream treat in the fastest time.

“You kind of want to say that everyone’s a winner because they get a bowl of ice cream,” Hudgins said.

Next, a “dog and person look-a-like” contest will bring together humans and animals with similar features. She can recall one year that a fluffy white Great Pyrenees and an owner with similar fluffy white hair were the best in the contest, Hudgins said.

The “waggiest tail” contest will be won by the dog with the fastest wagging tail.

“The waggiest tail is the happiest dog,” Hudgins said.

To finish off the fun and games, the egg-relay will challenge owners to hold an egg in a spoon, their dog on a leash in the other hand, and to run about 25 feet without spilling their cargo.

At 2 p.m., there is a “Pawsport Drawing” of stamped passports that owners get from visiting at least 10 of the 25 vendors at the festival. Winners get WAIF merchandise.

“It’s important to fundraise for the homeless dogs and cats,” Hudgins said. “It really does help us and the animals.”

Hudgins said typically, about 300 or 400 people show up for this event, which this year has a fundraising goal of $10,000.

“It’s just a big dog festival, a lot of fun and a lot of positivity. You’ll see all different kinds of dogs,” she said. “If anyone’s a dog lover, this is the place to be.”

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