Northland News

Animals take center stage at Pet Expo

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

This show is for the birds -- and the dogs, cats, horses and their owners.

The 19th annual All-American Pet Expo, one of the largest and most diverse pet exhibitions in the country, will be held April 19-21at the Ohio Expo Center, 717 E 17th Ave. in Columbus.

Turnout is expected to be between 15,000 and 25,000 people.

"It's got quite a history," show founder and promotions director Steve Cantin said. "It's really great to be back at the fairgrounds."

The show will feature more than 100 exhibitors and showcases for different pet products and services, seminars with veterinarians, animal adoptions, fashion shows, performances and more featuring dogs, cats, horses, reptiles, fish, llamas and other creatures.

"There's so much going on," Cantin said.

The expo also will feature an attempt at a world record, he said.

"We're going to do the largest Harlem Shake in the world with people and their pets," said Cantin, referring to the popular dance. "We're the Howl-Um Shake."

Other features of the show will include Mutts Gone Nuts, a comedy show involving dogs; a 40,000-square-foot paddock for horses and demonstrations; Splash Dogs and Aqua Dogs, featuring various canines diving into pools; a children's area; "Dress Up Your Pet" and "Pet Look-Alike" contests; and for the first time, aquarium displays.

"It's easier to bring a dog in," Cantin said.

Fish require cumbersome tanks, the right water temperature and other necessities, but the expo has that covered, he added.

The seminars and demonstrations will focus on new products, proper grooming and other aspects of responsible pet ownership, he said.

"There's just about everything out there for pets you can think of," Cantin said.

Attendees are welcome to bring their pets, but the animals must be at least a year old, well-mannered, kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet or enclosed in a pet-friendly structure, up to date on vaccinations (proof will be required to enter) and spayed or neutered.

The show originated when Cantin, as a promoter, was hired by a local pet store chain, PetZazz, to put together a show that centered on pets. Months after the first expo, Petzazz was bought by PetSmart, but Cantin continued with the annual expo.

"We put together an amazing event ... (and) it's been going strong ever since," he said. "It's going to be a blast, and that's a guarantee."

One-day tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for children, $7 for seniors. Three-day passes are $18 for adults, $14 for children, $16 for seniors.

For more information about the All-American Pet Expo or to order tickets, visit columbuspetexpo.com.

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