Stunts, tricks and flying discs: Dog Day Downtown returns to Middletown for 8th year

Community members and their furry friends are gearing up for Friday when Middletown hosts its 8th Annual Dog Day Downtown.

“Everybody loves their fur babies, so this brings everybody out. We have a great turnout with families and kids coming down and bringing their dogs. It’s really a fun event to see so many people gathered together with their fur babies,” said Mica Glaser-Jones, owner of The Windamere Event Center, a member of the Downtown Middletown, Inc. promotions committee, and a lead organizer for the event.

Dog Day Downtown will be 5-8 p.m. and is free for all to attend.

Performance Dogs of Ohio will entertain at 6:30 p.m. in the greenspace by White Dog Distilling Co. & Bourbon Bar. Spectators will see a canine dog show with stunts, tricks and Frisbee discs.

There will also be a new photo booth by Pic Me this year with a backdrop by Balloon Dog as well as a Bow Wow Boutique at Governor’s Square. Bow Wow Boutique will stock outfits, toys, leashes and more, and items can be purchased on a donation basis.

There will also be a “Rainbow Bridge” on the window at The Pendleton Art Center in Middletown.

“We have an artist creating a big rainbow on the windows, and we’ve been collecting pictures. We put a post out, asking for pictures of people’s fur babies that have passed. We will hang up all the pictures and it will serve as a memorial,” Glaser-Jones said.

The event was originally created by Kara Goheen, an animal lover, who passed away unexpectedly in 2020. Goheen was involved with Downtown Middletown, Inc. and organizers continue the event in her honor. A few events were considered “her babies,” including Dog Day Downtown and Hocus Pocus.

Goheen was originally from New York, and her family still travels to Middletown to support the event.

Dog Day Downtown will include free treat stops, pampering, a DJ, a photo booth, as well as retail and discounted drink specials. Many activities will be in and around Governor’s Square and booths will run along Broad Street toward Manchester. There will also be activities near White Dog Distilling Co. & Bourbon Bar and DC Roadhouse.

There will be complimentary nail trims by Animal Arts Academy, micro-chipping by All Paws Matter, and a variety of participating vendors to visit. There will be a DJ playing music and a limited number of goodie bags will be available for attendees from the DMI tent at Governor’s Square. Giveaways will include doggie bandanas, reflector tags, dog bones, a plush dog, and more. There will also be raffle baskets on display.

White Dog Distilling Co. & Bourbon Bar will host an “After Paw-Ty” with live music by Randy and the Haskell’s on stage outside as well as music by Matthew Allen inside.

Participating animal rescues will include PAWS Adoption Center, All Paws Matter, Joseph’s Legac, and New Ales Miami Valley Pit Crew. There will also be a face painter on site for the kids.

“We enjoy seeing everyone coming downtown with their dogs, and we love when our downtown is busy, and people get to see everything that the businesses can offer them. Dog Day Downtown is also about keeping Kara’s memory going, and honoring her with this event,” Glaser-Jones said.

The event attracts community members from Middletown and beyond. On average, 400 to 500 guests attend Dog Day Downtown.

The event is sponsored by Downtown Middletown, Inc., Middletown Community Foundation, Kara Goheen Friends and Furball Fund, Balloon Dog Events, PetSuites, Hollywood Feed and Paws & Remember.

How to go

What: Dog Day Downtown

When: 5-8 p.m. Friday

Where: Downtown Middletown, various spots

Cost: Free. Items are available for purchase. Free treats will also be available for pups.

More info: Online at Friendly, vaccinated and leashed dogs are welcome to attend. The downtown Middletown DORA district is in operation seven days a week, from noon to midnight. Raffle baskets will be available at the event. Each attendee will receive one free raffle ticket; others are available for purchase.

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