With the emergence of dog parks all over the suburbs, it’s no surprise that dog-centered events are popping up. Last year, the Batavia Park District decided to offer a Doggie Easter Egg Hunt at the Batavia Bark Park, 40W101 W. Main St., Batavia, to keep up with that trend. Staff had no idea what to expect, but they saw an overwhelming response.
“We wanted to start offering more programs and events at the Bark Park,” said Amber Smith, facilities manager. “The Doggie Easter Egg Hunt was our first event, and I think we were all pleasantly surprised by the turnout.”
Last year, almost 250 people and 75 dogs attended the event. Dogs of all shapes and sizes made their way to the park to search for treat-filled eggs. This year, organizers are hoping to increase that number.
“Our goal is to have more than 100 dogs attend,” Smith said. “We’ve added a lot of value to the event, and this year we teamed up with Anderson Animal Shelter. They do a lot for the community, so this is our way to give back to them.”
Half of this year’s proceeds will benefit the shelter.
“Through our participation in the Doggie Easter Egg Hunt, we hope to generate interest and awareness of Anderson Animal Shelter as well as find some forever homes for the adoptable pets that will be showcased at the event,” said Holly Alcala, director of development for Anderson Animal Shelter.
The Doggie Easter Egg Hunt will be at noon March 23 at the Bark Park, rain or shine. The cost is $10 a dog. For families with more than one pooch, the cost for each additional dog is $5.
On-site registration begins at 11:30 a.m., but owners are encouraged to come early to browse sponsor booths and take home pet-friendly products. Pre-registration may be done by calling the Batavia Park District at 630-879-5235. The first 25 owners to register will receive a complimentary treat bag for their pooch from Wet Nose of Geneva.
One thousand treat-filled eggs will be spread throughout the Bark Park at West Main Community Park in Batavia. Select eggs will be marked as prize eggs. A variety of prizes will be offered courtesy of local sponsors, including Pet Supplies Plus, DePaw University, Animal House Veterinary Hospital, Petco of South Elgin, Wiggle Waggles Pet Barkery and Invisible Fence.
All dogs must be leashed and only two handlers will be allowed per dog during the event. At the conclusion of the event, owners are encouraged to stay and let their dog run off leash in the three-acre fenced in park.
For information or to register, visit the Batavia Park District at www.bataviaparks.org or call 630-879-5235.
• Kari Miller is director of marketing and public relations for the Batavia Park District. Contact her at email@example.com.