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Bark-toberfest benefits Manteca K9 unit
Victoria Watson (pictured center) is once again organizing Bark-toberfest pet fair this year. She is shown with K9 Officers Bob Anderson & Hoss, Dale Goforth & Gage, Will Mueller & Bear and Randy Chiek & Coal. - photo by Photo Contributed


• WHAT: Bark-toberfest
• WHEN: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• WHERE: Manteca Civic Center Park behind Senior Center, 295 Cherry Lane
• DOG COSTUME CONTESTS: $10 by end of Thursday, $20 day of event
• MORE INFO: Call Victoria Watson or Shim Lacy-Watson at 518-3915 or email

Man’s best friend will rule as Bark-toberfest returns to Manteca.

The 2nd annual event scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 9, is once again being organized by founder, Victoria Watson, a Sierra High School junior.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Civic Center Park behind the Manteca Senior Center, 295 Cherry Lane.

Bark-toberfest features a doggie costume contest and free pet parade for local residents and their 4-legged friends. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Manteca Police K9 Association, a non-profit organization that helps provide funds for training equipment and the purchase of future dogs for the unit. Due to budget constraints the city has had to scale back the K9 unit to four members and is no longer able to provide funding for the training safety apparatus which quickly suffers from wear and tear.

Pampered pooches can strut their stuff to earn fun prizes by participating in the costume contest. Awards include “Dynamic Duo” for owner-dog look a-likes, “Fashionista” for best costume, “Funny Bone” for funniest costume along with several others. If those who do not want to put their dog in a costume, there are even fun contests for all dogs including “Doggie’s Got Talent” for best trick, “Teacher’s Pet” for most obedient, “Smoochy Face” for best kisser, “Large & In Charge” and “Tiny but Shiny” for largest and smallest dogs. Every dog receives a “Certificate of Paw-ticipation” and the first 50 entries will receive a doggie treat bag filled with toys, snacks and valuable coupons.

The $10 early bird registration for the contest has also been extended through Thursday. Participants registering the day of event will pay $20.

Attendees will also be able to enjoy the free pet fair featuring goods and services offered by a wide variety of vendors including dog groomers, boarding facilities, organic dog treats, dog scarves and Scentsy candles. Paws-4-Friends, Manteca’s new therapy dog group will host a booth to offer information and recruit dog owners to assist with their volunteer work on behalf of children’s literacy and senior citizens. The Delta Humane Society will also host a booth to provide information about dogs & cats available for adoption.

Officers along with their K9 partners Randy Chiek & Coal, Dale Goforth & Gage, Bob Anderson & Hoss and Will Mueller & Bear will also be on hand to provide an exciting K9 demonstration and serve as the honorary “grand marshals” of the day. They will also be the judges of the contest along with the Manteca Youth Focus city titleholders.

Vendor space is still being accepted up to the day of the event. The early bird registration fee of has been extended to Thursday, Oct. 7. For $40 businesses will receive a 10- by 10-foot space. The price goes up to $75 after Thursday including the day of the event. Non-profit organizations can take advantage of free exhibition space to provide info about their group if received by the Thursday deadline.
For more information contact Victoria Watson or Shim Lacy-Watson at 518-3915 or email

Watson member
of Police Explorers
Victoria earned an educational scholarship and the Pumpkin Fair title by competing in the 2010 Manteca Scholarship Competition held last March sponsored by Manteca Youth Focus. One of the phases of competition is called “Community Advocacy Speech” which challenges each competitor to come up with a volunteer project. It can be a new or existing project benefiting any volunteer organization. Each of the participants is then encouraged to put their project into action during the ensuing year. Watson is able to give 100% of the proceeds to the K9 Association thanks to the volunteers recruited from Manteca Youth Focus youth and adult volunteers.

Watson is Miss Pumpkin Fair 2010 and a member of Sierra High FFA and the Manteca Police Explorers. She created the event in 2009 when she served as Miss Teen Manteca to help address what she saw as an important need in the community, financial support for the brave officers and dogs serving and protecting in the Manteca Police Department K9 Unit. Last year’s event was a surprising success with over 150 people and 50 dogs in attendance. Funds raised from vendor fees, contest entry fees and raffle prize donations totaled $1,300. Watson has set a goal of raising $1,500 for this year’s event.