Sunday will feature Doggie Paddle Beach Fest

Organizers hope event will fill a gap in the market, with funds raised going to charity

Organizer Jenilyn Sheppard is hoping this Sunday’s Doggie Paddle Beach Fest will be the first of several to come.

The event, billed as Southwestern Ontario’s only dog beach festival, will be at Canatara Park from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The idea came to Sheppard, who owns LimeHippo Pet Photography in Sarnia, when she was in California and witnessed several dog-friendly beaches. “There are also different events catered to dogs,” she said, referring to beach events. “It just kept crossing my mind and so I thought, ‘I have to put something together.'”

Jenilyn Sheppard
Jenilyn Sheppard

Sheppard secured clearance from the City to fence in a section of Canatara Beach, located near the band shell, to create an off-leash swimming and play area.

Because it will be enclosed, there are no worries that beach-goers not “into dogs” will be inconvenienced.

Dogs will have a chance to try various activities, including off-leash swimming and a play zone area. Play-all-day passes will also be available.

While admission to the festival grounds is free, there is a cost for each individual doggy activity.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Sarnia & District Humane Society, as well as other local charities and pet organizations, according to Sheppard.

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