Fall Festival: Fall Festival goes to the dogs and other animals at Pet Paviliion

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By Maddie Yerant

This year’s Pet Pavilion is sure to fetch a good crowd, whether they walk on two legs or four.

Located next to the Safety Zone at the park off Main Street, the Pet Pavilion will feature not only pet-themed vendors and services, but performances, demos and more, according to Pet Pavilion coordinator Mike Heffner.

“We have pet supply stores, daycare and boarding, rescues, vendors, service companies, a pet craft booth and not-for-profit,” Heffner said. “(Festivalgoers) should also expect to be entertained by the exposition tent, where we’ll have performances by Silly Safari and Animailia on Sunday and some other demos taking place there as well.”

Demos include performances from Midwest Search Dogs and the Zionsville police and fire departments, Heffner said.

Midwest Search Dogs will feature a demo on how their four-legged employees can search for and rescue people in a crisis, while the police and fire departments will show how they integrate their canines into everyday operations.

“One of the (performances) that is always very well received is they have their police dog, and they take him through some of the paces they do,” Heffner said. “They dress up a policeman in one of those suits where they can’t get hurt, and they let the dog take them down, and they talk a lot about how they use police dogs in their day-to-day operations.”

According to Heffner, pet owners are allowed and encouraged to bring their dogs to Pet Pavilion; last year, some lucky four-legged friends found themselves receiving free samples by vendors.

While dogs and other pets will be a point of focus for Pet Pavilion, Heffner said Silly Safari and Animailia will bring different kinds of animals to show.

“It’s entertainment but also education where they talk a lot about different kinds of animals, and they bring animals to show them off to the kids,” Heffner said.

There’s potential for some festivalgoers to head home with new friends, too.

“The Human Society of Boone County comes, and last year they had some puppies that were all adopted before the end of the first day, even,” Heffner said.

IF YOU GO 

Pet Pavilion will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 12 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 13. For a list of demos and performances, visit http://zlionsevents.com/soho/.

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