Record crowds for Pickering’s Petapalozza festival


Published May 17, 2024 at 12:04 pm

Who’d have thought an event focussed on fur babies and the love their human companions have for them would regularly be one of Pickering’s top ten events?

But every year Petapolooza draws record crowds to Esplanade Park in downtown Pickering and 2024 was no different, with the event bringing out pets of every description – from the usual dogs and cats to exotic pets such as lizards – as well as their more than 4,000 of their human handlers, topping last year’s record-breaking 3,750.

Donations to help fund adoption activities of Pickering Animal Services (and to go towards helping Pickering build a permanent animal shelter) also smashed records this year, with more than $40,000 raised, including $13,077 on the day of the event from the $5 optional entrance charge, vendor fees and raffles, contests and other funding initiatives.

“It was amazing,” said Lindsey Narraway, the Supervisor at Animal Services, who thanked the animal services team, City staff, sponsors and volunteers for “making it happen” and to the marketing teams for getting the word out about the annual event. “It was a phenomenal event and very successful.”

Petapolooza, held May 11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., kicks off the summer event season, with attendance at what is now a signature outdoor event in Pickering doubling over the past three years.

The 2023 Petapolooza Pet Festival brought in just over $33,000 in donations, including more than ten grand the day of the event – by far the largest amount raised until the 2024 event sent new marks.

Pickering Mayor Kevin Ashe (and Hobbes) with fellow pet lovers at Petapalooza

Petapolooza is geared towards animal lovers and brings together pet owners and enthusiasts and gives them the opportunity to meet industry professionals, rescue groups, and others in the pet industry.

The day-long event featured more than 50 exhibitors and rescue groups, live entertainment and giveaways. SuperDogs, a group of canines of various breeds, shapes and sizes that are known for performing various feats, including running obstacle courses, jumping rope, playing frisbee and more, were also back this year to perform three shows.


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