By MARK TODD - firstname.lastname@example.org
Canines in costumes will be the featured attraction at the 12th annual Boo-Wow Walk on Oct. 19, a premier event for the Ashtabula County Animal Protective League.
“It’s clearly our biggest fundraiser of the year,” said Justin Sartori, president of the ACAPL’s board of directors.
Once again, the Walk will be held at Maple Ridge Golf Course, 8921 Center Road, Saybrook Township. Registration begins at noon, followed by the Walk at 1 p.m., Complimentary shuttle parking will be available at Gateway Church, 2300 Ashtabula-Austinburg Road.
For the $25 entry fee, participants will receive a T-shirt and a tote bag they will fill with dog-related goodies at 13 designated stops along the route.
Organizers are hoping for a little kindness from Mother Nature, Sartori said. The past two Boo-Wow Walks were plagued by “horrible weather,” he said. Nonetheless, last year’s version attracted upwards of 350 dogs and owners, Sartori said.
“If the weather’s nice, we’ll push 400 people,” he said.
A celebrity is also scheduled to attend, Sartori said. Fittingly, it’s Moondog, the Cleveland Cavaliers mascot, who will greet his fans between 1-2 p.m.
A big part of the fun are the clever costumes owners devise for their pets. It’s rare when a dog isn’t dolled up, Sartori said.
“Pretty much every dog is in costume,” he said. “And about 75 percent of the owners. We have a good mix.”
Prizes will be awarded in several costume categories, including spookiest, funniest, most creative, best group theme, best dog-and-owner pair and best large and small dog. In addition, a grand prize will be awarded the person who secures the most pledges.
The Boo-Wow Walk is staged with the aid of a “small army” of helpers, Sartori said. “We have wonderful, wonderful volunteers who help us,” he said.