Debbie Mitzner (not pictured) brought back Strathmore’s annual Bark in the Park event for the community to bring their dogs to and enjoy for free together. The event took place simultaneously with the Farm and Flea Market and a Filipino independence celebration, among other festivities.John Watson

Original Published on Jun 16, 2022 at 14:15

By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Bark in the Park returned on June 11 for its fifth iteration, with lots of tails wagging at the prospect of the event once again being hosted in town. 

Debbie Mitzner, who worked to organize Bark in the Park, said she was excited to bring back such a popular community event.

“It’s for the community where people can bring out their dogs. It gets bigger and better every year (and this year) we partnered with a few other events, so that seems to be a bonus for everybody,” said Mitzner. “We wanted to have more community activities and stuff that was free for families and kids to come out to.”

Bark in the Park was not the only reason for people to get excited about coming out to enjoy the sunny weather on Saturday, as the event occurred, by design, simultaneously with several other events around town.

Mitzner said there was a Filipino independence event occurring, a pig roast, the Town of Strathmore’s Junk in the Trunk market, as well as the local Farm and Flea Market.

At this point in hosting events that have taken place for a number of years, such as Bark in the Park, Mitzner added the planning process is basically rinse-and-repeat. Though this sentiment comes after a fair bit of trial and error.

“The lake is great, the weather is beautiful, we have a dog show, running area … there’s lots of things happening,” said Mitzner who hopes to see Bark in the Park, as well as similar events continue to grow on an annual basis and encourage more people to come out to enjoy the festivities.

Bark in the Park was not hosted during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic due to ongoing public health concerns and gathering restrictions at the time.

The ultimate goal for Mitzner herself is to have quarterly events return to regular operation. In September she intends to host a Teddy Bear Picnic. 

“It’s really exciting to be able to bring this back. It’s nice to see everybody out and about,” said Mitzner. “The more people and businesses we can partner with, the more people who may come out for at least one event specifically, or they might come out for everything.”

This item reprinted with permission from Strathmore Times, Strathmore, Alberta