This past Saturday, there was one common denominator that literally brought together all walks and breeds of life in the Allentown community: dogs. The 6th Annual Allentown Woofstock hosted by the Friends of the Allentown Parks at Cedar Beach Park attracted enthusiastic owners and their furry, four-pawed best friends. This annual event, which has been held since 2011, raises money for the establishment of Allentown’s very own dog park, in addition to supporting Friends of the Allentown Parks.
A single five minute walk separated Muhlenberg’s campus from Cedar Beach Park, which was laden with an impressive, tail-wagging population. As an avid fan of Doggie De-stressor Day, my attendance at this event was inherent, compulsive, and absolute.
Owners and their pooches, both leashed and unleashed, were the highlight of the event. Dogs of all shapes, sizes, ages, and breeds congregated with their owners across the entire expanse of Cedar Beach Park. Particular breeds were very well-represented at this event, including German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Corgis, French Bulldogs and all shades of Labrador Retrievers.
There was no shortage of entertainment on that mild, late summer afternoon. Various vendors and organizations lined up along the park’s tree line, featuring homemade dog treats, dog-centric clothing and dog-focused pottery.
If you did not have your own dog or wanted to add a furry friend to your family, both puppies and adult dogs were up for adoption by the Lehigh Valley Humane Society, who introduced them and described the circumstances from which they were rescued, inviting passersby to sanitize their hands and get acquainted with the dogs up for adoption.
Service and rescue dogs were also showcased at this event, with demonstrations hosted by the arson dog of Allentown’s Fire Department, the Allentown Police Department K-9 unit and Wolfpack Search and Recovery. A silent auction was also featured. For the more active dogs, canine sporting events featured dog baseball, basketball and relays.
I had the pleasure of getting acquainted with Tucker, a vibrant Golden Retriever puppy who I met on the tennis court. Meanwhile, as another owner of an older golden retriever bonded with Tucker’s owner, remarking how little Tucker is now and how before they knew it, he would be growing into his paws and might be three times his current size.
Many Muhlenberg students attended the event, encouraged by the beautiful day and the opportunity to engage with so many dogs. Becca Finkelman ’18 remarked how, “It was a beautiful day to take a break from work and pet a good amount of dogs from all different breeds.”
Val Weisler ’20 was also in attendance, and described her motivation for attending. “I attended because as a college student, I don’t get to see dogs nearly enough. It was heaven on earth to be surrounded by so many!”
Val continued, proclaiming how “[she] also loved that the whole event was for the dogs, from the band performing ‘Working Like A Dog’ to the dog treat vendors.”
After all, this event was truly oriented towards man’s best friend — raising the funds necessary to facilitate the creation of an Allentown dog park that would habitually allow these dogs and owners to gather together, making the fulfilling interactions between humans and their dogs all the more apart of life in the Allentown community.