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Mutts & More Festival debuts Saturday
Event is fundraiser for local Humane Society
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Forsyth County News

If you're going
All Mutts & More events will take place at the Cumming Fairgrounds, 235 Castleberry Road.
* Race to Rescue 5K: 8 a.m., $20 pre-registration
* Mutt Strutt: 10 a.m., $20 registration fee per team
* Festival: 11 a.m.-5 p.m., $1 admission ages 3 and older
* Bark After Dark: 7 p.m., $10 admission
* Online: www.forsythpets.org/mmf

Four-legged family members will have a celebration to call their own Saturday with the inaugural Mutts & More Festival.

The Forsyth County Humane Society fundraiser has several dog- and family-friendly activities planned throughout the day at the Cumming Fairgrounds. Among them are a morning 5K run, dog parade, family festival and evening concert.

Funds raised will go toward keeping the no-kill shelter operating, said Sandra Morse Haynes, society spokeswoman.

“If you’re a nonprofit and you get no funds from anyone, it’s constant just to manage the shelter,” Haynes said. “We take in as many animals as we possibly can.

"We try to think of as many fundraisers as we can.”

The Mutts & More Festival, which runs from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., evolved from the former Bark in the Park fundraiser, she said.

Reminiscent of that event, it will feature a variety of entertainment acts, presentations, carnival games, inflatables, pet-related vendors and food.

And, of course, friendly dogs on leashes are welcome to attend, Haynes said.

They’ll also get a chance to show off before the festival during the Mutt Strutt, a parade for dogs around the fairgrounds.
Aside from cute canines, some dogs and owners may sport fun costumes.

Individuals and teams have been raising pledges for the big day, Haynes said.

The team in the current lead is “2 Cute 2 B Neglected, which has tallied more than $600. Nearly $200 came from Midway Elementary School, where one team member teaches.

About 30 teams have signed up in advance, but those wishing to parade can also sign up on Saturday.

Before the dog parade, the Race to Rescue 5K will take participants on a run through downtown Cumming.

That evening, festival-goers can unwind with live band karaoke and food during Bark After Dark.

It’s a full schedule, and the humane society is still looking for volunteers to help out, Haynes said.

She added that the society hopes to make the festival one of its two large annual fundraisers, along with the Bark & Boogie Ball in October.

Event chairwoman Lisa Leonard said in a statement that organizers hope “Mutts & More will be the greatest festival for pets and their families that north Georgia has even seen."

“We encourage everyone to come out and support the animals,” she said.