The dog days of summer are here, and the Westerville Visitors and Convention Bureau will celebrate the season with its monthly OhioHealth 4th Friday celebration, from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 23.
The August 4th Friday will feature a lineup of events meant to celebrate man's best friend. The free block party will take place throughout Uptown Westerville, the city's historic business district centered at State Street and College Avenue.
New this year will be the Bow Wow Dog Show and Yip-Yap Parade, hosted by the Humane Society of Delaware County.
Registration for the parade, which organizers said they hope to make an annual event, will begin at 6 p.m. on West College near State.
Judging will begin at 7 p.m. in five categories: Waggiest Tail/Body, Best Pet Trick, Owner/Pet Look-Alike, Most Mysterious Heritage and Best Vocal Performance. One winner from each category will be chosen by a panel of judges, including Westerville City Councilwoman Diane Fosselman and representatives from Cryan Veterinary Hospital.
Winners will receive a prize and ribbon, and will be invited to help lead the Yip-Yap Parade with the Westerville Division of Fire's Sparky the Fire Pup at 8 p.m.
The parade will travel down West College to Grove Street, south on Grove to Park Street, east on Park to Knox Street and north on Knox to end back on West College.
Following the parade, the five winners will return to the stage, and the crowd will select a "Best of Show" winner. Trophies will be presented by McGruff the Crime Dog.
Online registration also is available at hsdcohio.org/BowWow.
Registration is $15 for the parade, $15 for the dog show or $25 for both. Families may walk additional dogs in the parade for $5 each.
Dog rescue groups and animal shelters are invited to participate at a special reduced cost of $5 per dog, and each dog will be announced if available for adoption. Rescue groups also can enter up to 10 dogs in the parade, with fees ranging from $5 to $15 total.
All entry fees are tax-deductible and will benefit the Humane Society of Delaware County.
Also, as is usual during 4th Friday celebrations, there will be live entertainment, vendors and food carts, and participating Uptown businesses will offer extended hours.
The Otterbein University Marching Band will perform at 6:30 and 7 p.m. on East College Avenue, and Avalon Nine will perform on the AAA Ohio Auto Club Music Stage. Members of the Taoist Tai Chi Society also will demonstrate their art.
The Westerville Public Library will host story times at Amish Originals, 38 N. State St., the Westerville Division of Police will offer free digital fingerprinting for children, and the Fire Division will have rescue vehicles on display.
The Westerville Bicycle Club will provide a free, secure bike corral behind Emerald Bank, 17 N. State St.
The Arts Council of Westerville will host a special area as part of "The Year of the Arts."
This month, Artist Alley will feature a pastel demonstration by Kathy Smithson, as well as cards, prints, original watercolor, pastel and acrylic paintings, stained glass, jewelry and wind chimes by Westerville Art League members.
There will be more than 100 vendors in Uptown Westerville, including dog rescue groups, pet-sitting services, veterinarians, pet photographers, and creators of homemade dog treats and dog accessories.
Food offerings will include tacos, hot dogs, lemonade, kettle corn and baked goods.
OhioHealth 4th Friday: Dog Days of Summer is sponsored in part by the Arts Council of Westerville, AAA Ohio Auto Club, Hometown Service Center, Cryan Veterinary Hospital, Westerville Bicycle Club, Pet Butler and the Humane Society of Delaware County.