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Auburn's Petpalooza earns top honor

Josh Motzkus and his dog, Scuff, perform a trick for the K9 Kings Flying Dog Show at Petpalooza last year. - Rachel Ciampi/Auburn Reporter
Josh Motzkus and his dog, Scuff, perform a trick for the K9 Kings Flying Dog Show at Petpalooza last year.
— image credit: Rachel Ciampi/Auburn Reporter

Auburn's Petpalooza festival received the top Spotlight Award for Program Excellence for Events, Fairs and Festivals from the Washington State Parks and Recreation Association (WRPA).

The award honors public agencies for outstanding and unique achievements.

Auburn was honored in a ceremony at the April 17 WRPA Conference in Vancouver, Wash. Judges chose Petpalooza for its innovative, creative and exceptional service and benefit to the community.

"We're proud to have received this outstanding statewide recognition from the WRPA," said Daryl Faber, City of Auburn's director of Parks, Arts and Recreation Department. "Special events are a key component of a healthy community and ... department continues to offer innovative programming that the Auburn community has embraced and is recognized throughout the state."

In addition to the WRPA award, Petpalooza has received an international Learning Resources Network (LERN) Award, a host of Washington Festival and Events Association (WFE) Awards, and a City-County Communication and Marketing Association (3CMA) national Savvy Award.

WRPA, an affiliate of the National Recreation and Park Association, plays a role in promoting public support for parks and recreation and increasing awareness of the necessity to preserve, enhance, and utilize resources for a balanced lifestyle. The Spotlight award was established in 2005. Since that time, the City of Auburn has received Spotlight awards for Discovery Playground, ArtRageous, Auburn Youth Council and several printed publications, including the Auburn Parks Year in Review and the BRAVO brochure.

Auburn's Petpalooza began in 2008 as a way to promote healthy activities with pets. The 2013 Petpalooza festival continues that tradition on May 18 at Game Farm Park.

The festival, which runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., kicks off with a Dog Trot 3K/5K Fun Run and also features an animal-related entertainment stage, live entertainment, Skyhoundz Disc Dog Championships, Seattle Flydogs demos, pony rides, the "Unleashed" pet contests, agility areas, a noon pet parade, more than 150 vendor booths, giveaways and other activities to keep both humans and pets entertained.

Returning in 2013 is a premier petting zoo, GASCAR inter-species animal racing, Farmyard Follies shows and a kids' Ag-Ventureland. Sponsors include 100.7 The Wolf, Radio Disney AM 1250, Green River Veterinary Hospital, Del's Feed & Farm Supply, and Banfield Pet Hospital.

For more information, call 253-931-3043 or visit www.auburnwa.gov/petpalooza.

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