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Bark-toberfest Saturday benefits police K9 unit
Miss Manteca Victoria Watson is shown with Manteca Police canine Hoss to promote Saturdays Bark-toberfest at Library Park. - photo by Photo Contributed

Library Park is “going to the dogs” Saturday for the the 3rd annual Bark-toberfest .

Bark-toberfest is a one-day pet fair and doggie costume contest for area residents and their pets.

Since its inception in 2009, Bark-toberfest has earned nearly $3,000 for the Manteca Police K9 association, a non-profit organization which provides financial support for training, equipment and other expenses that now fall to the officers serving in the local K9 unit.

The Saturday, Oct. 8, event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the newly renovated Library Park in downtown Manteca. Special contests include the “Smoochie Face” kissing contest, “Teacher’s Pet” obedience contest and “Doggie’s Got Talent” trick contest. A $10 entry fee covers all of the contests that start at 11 a.m..

Members of the Manteca Police K9 Unit will also be on hand to give a live demo for the public. A free pet parade led by McGruff the Crime Dog and the Manteca Police K9 officers and dogs will begin at noon with the costume contest to follow at about 12:30 p.m.

Dog-related vendors will also be on hand.

Miss Manteca Victoria Watson started the Bark-toberfest three years ago as her community service project required by Manteca Youth Focus.

Watson is a Sierra High School senior and currently serving as the Treasurer for Sierra-Manteca Chapter of FFA and a member of the Manteca Police Explorers. Upon graduation she would like to attend Sonoma State University, obtain a degree in Criminal Justice Administration and eventually enter a career in law enforcement. Watson was inspired to create her advocacy project when her interest in law enforcement coincided with steep budget cuts leading to the lay-off of several police officers in 2009. Her efforts have earned the accolades of the city of Manteca and the Manteca Police Department. She is one of a handful of individuals awarded the “Chief’s Challenge Coin”, a commemorative coin with the inscription, “It is never too late to do the right thing.”

 As a scholarship recipient for Manteca Youth Focus, the organization which sponsors the annual Miss Manteca contest, Watson’s project was sponsored by MYF and provided her with the means to make her advocacy project a reality.

New for 2011 is the Canine Carnival which features fun games for $1 that dogs can play with their owners like “Bobbing for Tennis Balls”, “Trick-or-Treat”, “Sit-a-Thon” and “Obstacle Course”. Leonard Photography will also be on hand to take fun pet portraits. For just $10 dog owners can have a special memory of the event with 100% of the proceeds benefitting the K9 association.

Vendors and organizations will be on hand to provide products, services and information including Paws-4-Friends Therapy Dog Group, Northern California Weimaraner Rescue, Aunty’s Dog Grooming, The Dog House doggie daycare & boarding and Alopaw Hawaiian Dog Treats. Humans will also be treated to special products by KD Inspirations jewelry, Douglas Divine Designs and PartyLite Candles by Karen Bentley.

Vendor space and costume parade entries are still available. For more information contact Victoria Watson or Shim Lacy-Watson at 518-3915.