SIKESTON - If you are looking for something to do this Patriot Day, "Pet Fest" is an opportunity to both observe the new national holiday and support the Bootheel Humane Society's shelter while having a good time.
Scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Jaycee Rodeo Grounds in the Sponsors Building, the idea to hold the event actually came from the community, not the humane society's board.
"This was not our idea ... Jerry Pullen and Sharon Lathum are the ones who got a committee together," said Rebecca Steward, Bootheel Humane Society board member. "They approached the humane society and said they would like to do this for the animals."
The idea fits in well, however, with the board's resolution to hold fewer fundraisers "and make them bigger events," Steward said. "Most of the funds for the shelter are from donations."
The Pet Fest also jibes well with the board's intention to make the humane society and shelter become more of "a family-oriented thing."
"This is really geared toward families," Steward continued. "There's going to be face painting and pony rides, a petting zoo - the face paintings will be free."
Children can do more than just ride and pet animals, however. Adult animals as well as puppies and kittens ready to take home will be on hand for a special half-price adoption offer.
As the event is scheduled on Patriot Day, organizers agreed it would be "fitting to involve the veterans," Steward said.
In addition to recognizing veterans and the military, other events in observation of Patriot Day will include Harold Myrick singing "God Bless the USA," the Pledge of Allegiance led by area Boy Scouts, and a performance of the National Anthem by Lindsey Dyer.
There will also be a variety of other music as well with performances by the Harold Myrick Quartet, The Pullen Family, Replica and Chosen.
Steve McPheeters will emcee the event, youth groups from area churches will have crafts for sale, area politicians will offer their faces as targets for pies, and Doug Baltz will sell paintings and prints with a portion of proceeds going to the shelter.
The Pet Fest will also feature a "dunkin' stand," and an appearance from obedience trainer Craig Owens. Those who bring an appetite won't be disappointed: hamburgers, hot dogs, barbecue, funnel cakes and popcorn will all be available.
There will be an entry fee of $2 for adults and $1 for children, with proceeds going to the shelter along with money made from concessions.
Steward said she expects the event to last until 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. Saturday. "The last band comes on at 7 p.m.," she said.
"If we feel that it's successful and the community responds well to it I think we will do it again," Steward added.
For more information call Steward at 471-6100.