The Doggie Do, Ireland’s first ever dog festival, will take place in Merrion Square, with gates opening at 1.30pm this afternoon.
TV host and dog lover Darren Kennedy will host the dog-centric celebration, which is inspired by the annual Halloween Dog Parade in New York City’s East Village, which offers the chance for the community of dog owners to get together and enjoy the spectacle of dogs in fancy dress.
One of the event's organisers and publisher of Le Cool Dublin, Michael McDermott, said:
We're all dog lovers and we wanted to celebrate that with this Mardi Gras for mutt and man [...] The event is for anyone who loves dogs and wants to meet fellow minded friends. It's kid friendly also and alcohol free. The Dog of Dublin is the centrepiece spectacle where 16 dogs will take to the 'dogwalk' ahead of the first ever Dog of Dublin being crowned around 6pm.
One of the highlights of The Doggie Do will be the The Dog of Dublin 2015 canine costume competition. Dogs in costume will be judged on their charisma, charm, originality and style.
The dogs aren't the only ones dressing up though, their owners are encouraged to as well. The competition will be judged by Rory O’Neill (AKA Panti Bliss), Justine King of OPSH, and fashion editor of Stellar Magazine Linda Conway.
Other events to look forward to include a demo on how to make healthy snacks for your dog, a talk on training your pooch, a trick show, and a discussion with the authors of the recently published book 'In Dog We Trust'.
To finish off the day, there will be an open-air movie screening of animated classic Lady and the Tramp at 7.45pm.
McDermott said of the festival:
Our main hope is to raise awareness of responsible dog ownership in the city and to cultivate a stronger sense of community. We'd love more cafés and pubs to consider the needs of dog owners and ultimately be instrumental in the creation of the first ever dog park in the city along with Dogs Trust who we are supporting in this venture.
If you haven't got a dog, but you'd like to see the festival for yourself, don't worry, as non-dog owners as also welcome "with open paws".
The Doggie Doo Festival takes place in Merrion Square this afternoon and gates open at 1.30pm. Tickets will be on sale at the entrance, a single ticket is €10 and a family ticket is €25.