Gardiner Main Street will host the 8th annual Barks in the Park event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, at Waterfront park in downtown Gardiner.

The day will be filled with events, contests and demonstrations. Rescue groups, vendors, Agility Central of Maine, Fly Ball Dogz and the Maine State Police K9 unit will be featured at the event.

“This event is not only to promote Gardiner as a dog friendly community, but to get the word out about some of the dog rescue groups and other service organizations in the area,” Patrick Wright said in a news release from Gardiner Main Street.

The free event will include activities for dogs and their owners including contests for best dog kiss, best costume, a look-alike contest and education about animal health and welfare.

“This is a great opportunity for dog lovers to come together for a day of fun with each other and their pooches,” said Wright, according to the release.

Donations will be accepted on site for the development of a new dog park in Gardiner. Last year more than $3,000 was raised, this year the organization hopes to exceed that amount to come closer to the goal of 8,000.

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