Barker Common will come alive with the excitement of children and animals on Saturday morning. The Fredonia Farm Festival's Annual Children's Pet Show begins at 10 a.m. in the ring set up just opposite Village Hall. The pet show is free and registration is not required.
For more than 30 years, parents have brought their children, and children have brought their pets to the show, which is probably the longest running continuous attraction in the festival. LeeAnne Cogdill of SIRIUS Dog School, sponsor of the event, reports that parents, who not so very long ago, were themselves contestants, are now bringing their children to compete.
Children of all ages are welcome, from babies in strollers to teen-agers almost old enough to drive a car. While adults are banned from actual competition, family members of all ages are welcome in the ring as chaperones and keepers of the peace.
Diversity of pets is another cherished tradition. Very young children are encouraged to bring their favorite stuffed animals. Winners will be selected as most unusual, prettiest, most handsome, best dressed, cuddliest, and best loved.
Dogs and cats are logically the most numerous contestants and are judged as beautiful, handsome, unique, elegant, large, small, well-behaved, or particularly interesting. Other winners are possible depending on the diversity of applicants.
Out of the ordinary pets are particularly welcome: fish, insects, spiders, reptiles, crustaceans, goats, rabbits, rodents, snakes, toads, frogs, and surprises. Each is judged on his individual charms.
The final part of the competition and usually most exciting is tricks, conducted along the lines of a spelling bee. This is usually dominated by dogs, although other animals have occasionally demonstrated surprising talents.
Students and staff from the Sirius Dog School will conduct and judge the show, and Just Pets in Irving will provide prizes to winners in the tricks competition. Sirius humans and canines will be on hand throughout the day to demonstrate the latest and most entertaining developments in dog training, including clicker training.