Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pooches on Parade at Earth Day Festival

Chestertown, MD — The Kent County Humane Society, the Town of Chestertown, and the Center for Environment " Society at Washington College are collaborating on this year's Mutt Strut and Earth Day Festival in downtown Chestertown on April 25 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Registration for the 12th annual Mutt Strut begins at 8:00 AM in Fountain Park, and the dog parade starts at 9:00 AM. There is a $5 registration fee for those who want to promenade with their dogs, otherwise events are free and open to the public. "We hope people from all walks of life will join together in support of clean air, land, and water for the Earth and its animals," says JoAnn Fairchild, senior program manager at the Center.

According to Fairchild, there will be live music in the Park, eco-friendly exhibitors and vendors on Memorial Row, a petting zoo, and a variety of pet and Earth Day activities on both lawns of the Kent County Courthouse. Washington College students will feature face-painting, t-shirt tie-dye, and a coloring contest with frogs, fishes, and butterflies made out of recycled cardboard. Downtown merchants and eateries will be open, the Chestertown Elks #2474 will be grilling hamburgers and hot dogs, and Rose Greene of Church Hill will fire up the griddles for funnel cake and fried fish.

Chestertown Mayor Bailey reports the popular Farmers' Market will already be underway that morning, as will the Town's "green window" and meter decorating contests. As part of its Chestertown Goes Green campaign, the Town is arranging free services for paper shredding and recycling of fluorescent bulbs and tubes that Saturday. And Mayor Bailey says the Town's Green Team will be selling tote bags as part of its campaign to "just say no thank you to plastic bags!"

The Mutt Strut and Pet Fair is the spring fund-raiser for the local Humane Society. "Proceeds go toward the animal shelter and the care of the animals waiting for new homes," says Dr. David Newell, chair of the board of trustees. Fellow trustee Mary Ashley notes the canine competitions always draw a big crowd, especially with Courtney Phelps as emcee. "The high jump contests, limbo contests, and dog/owner look-alike contests are sure to bring a big smile," she says. Ashley has agreed to spend a night in the animal shelter kennel unless she raises $10,000 by the end of April.

For Mutt Strut information call 410/708-5833 or 778-3648; for Earth Day events call 410/778-7295.

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