My dogs haven’t been for a walk in weeks, and they haven’t seen the dog park since May. This time of year, most of their fun comes from daily dive-bomb sessions in the swimming pool. They’re still beside themselves with excitement every time they smell sunscreen, but I could sure use a change in routine.
Thankfully, we’ve all got somewhere different to be this Friday night: Dog Days of Summer. It’s the theme of this month’s 2nd Friday Night Out block party on Main Street in Mesa.
“There are paw print pictures in the windows of all the places that are dog friendly, where you can go into the nice, cool air-conditioning with your dog. And there are about eight places along Main where there will be splash pools and water dishes and misters to keep everyone cool,” says event coordinator Suzanne Woodford.
Along the sidewalks, dogs and their owners will find live music from the Mahogany Birds, Todd Owens and Robots vs. Bees, plus about 60 artist booths.
“The highlight of the evening is the dog contest at 8:30 in front of One-Oh-One Gallery. It’s free to enter, and you can enter in all different categories: biggest dog, smallest dog, best trick, dog that looks most like its owner, best dressed dog. We give away lots of fun prizes, and we get a huge turnout,” says Woodford.
The Grill on Main and Queen’s Pizzeria will offer patio dining for people and pets, and Il Vinaio wine bar will host a free canine wine tasting.
“It’s chicken and beef broth, primarily. It’s a manufactured mix that somebody makes for dogs, it’s all approved safe for dogs. They’re going to set it up as an actual wine tasting with plastic wine glasses for the dogs to use, and cheese hors d’oeuvres as well. They’ll have real wine tasting for the owners, too,” she says.
One-Oh-One Gallery will feature a pop-up art show, where anyone may enter their original dog-themed art and have it put on view. The cost to enter artwork is $5; the show is free to tour.
A dog psychic, a massage therapist for dogs and a dog photographer will also be there. Fees vary for those services.
Woodford, who has a border collie of her own, says several dog rescue groups (including groups representing Great Danes, Corgis, Chihuahuas, sheep dogs and toy terriers) will be on site, along with a group that honors dogs that have been in military service.
The 3-year-old event is one of the year’s most popular block parties, drawing 4,000 to 5,000 people and about 1,000 dogs in previous years.
“It’s summer, and people are excited to have something to do when the sun goes down, to get out of the house. And plus you can take your dog along, the dog doesn’t have to stay home, getting hair all over the couch.”
Or in the skimmer basket.
The party starts at 6 p.m. Friday, and admission is free. For details, see www.2ndFridayNightOut.com
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