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Library Park going to the dogs

Bark-toberfest Saturday supports Manteca Police K9 unit

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Library Park going to the dogs

A costumed dog entry during a previous Bark-toberfest.

Bulletin file photo/


POSTED October 11, 2012 12:52 a.m.

People aren’t the only ones that get to dress up for Halloween.

Once again local pet owners will get their chance to turn Fido into Captain America for the annual Bark-toberfest event being held on Saturday, Oct. 13, at Library Park in Downtown Manteca.

For the last four years former Miss Manteca Victoria Watson – who started the project when she was just Miss Teen Manteca – has organized the fun fundraiser as a way to benefit the Manteca Police K9 Association.

And even though she’s currently away studying at Sonoma State University, Watson has been busy on the phone and the computer putting the finishing touches on this year’s event. She’s hoping to raise $1,500 for the non-profit that provides financial support for training, equipment and other expenses that are now paid for by the handlers of Manteca’s specially trained K9 canines.

“I enjoy knowing that it goes to help the officers so that can go out there and do their jobs and protect the city,” Watson said of why she started the event. “A lot of people enjoy their dogs and I knew that it was something that would generate a lot of money.

“It wasn’t something that we had in our town before.”

And it takes a lot more than just rolling out the red carpet the day of the event to pull everything off without a hitch.

Watson said that it takes her about two months to get everything in order – from the volunteers to the necessary applications and paperwork and insurance to making sure everybody has been contacted prior to the morning of the event.

That’s before the first dog even shows up.

“I’ve been doing it all by phone and email,” she said. “It’s been kind of difficult, but I’m making it happen.”

The event itself will consist of a costume parade, canine carnival and a variety of special contests. A K9 demonstration by the Manteca Police Department will also be held.

Over the course of the last four years more than $4,000 has been raised to benefit the non-profit organization – mainly through applications and vendor booth rentals – and Watson is hoping to keep in line with what have been annual proceed totals.

Any business or organization can register for a 10x10 booth space at the event for $40, and non-profits can promote their mission free-of-charge.

For more information regarding Bark-toberfest contact Victoria Watson at (209) 275-5035. For vendor space contact Shim Lacy at (209) 518-3915 or email shim@mantecayouthfocus.org.

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