The 6th annual LabFest will grace Four Freedoms Park next weekend to celebrate the popular Labrador retriever breed, along with other four-legged friends.
Anita Simmons, Cape Dog Bakery owner, said a big reason behind the festival is to get information out to the community about the non-profit organization Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida. She is a member of that group's board of directors.
"Last year we adopted over 600 dogs throughout the state," she said about the organization.
Breeze file photo
One of Cape Coral’s four-legged residents having some fun at one of the earlier LabFests.
The organization, which has been around since 2000, is dedicated to placing purebred Labrador retrievers in loving permanent homes. Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida also provides foster care, veterinary care and microchips for the Labs in its adoption program.
"We have placed over 3,600 Labs in homes throughout Florida," Simmons said.
SInce the organization does not have a shelter for the Labs, Simmons said they are always looking for people to house the dogs on a temporary basis.
What: 6th annual LabFest
When: Saturday, Nov. 12,
9 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Where: Four Freedoms
Retriever Rescue of
Florida and Wagging Tails
Dog Park in Cape Coral
donation of $5 per dog
Sponsors: Cape Dog
Bakery and Cape Coral
Parks & Recreation
"They are responsible only for the food for the dog," she said about the foster parents. "The medical and vet shots are taken care of by the rescue."
LabFest will be held from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 12. It typically attracts between 150-200 dogs, which are mostly Labs and other larger dogs.
Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida will feature six Labs for adoption at the festival. Simmons said the organization will do a home visit and vet check before an individual adopts a dog.
She said she enjoys the festival because she usually sees people that have adopted their Lab from LRRoF in previous years.
"It is nice to see the dogs after they went to their forever home," Simmons said.
The festival will also feature vendor exhibits, contests, demonstrations and water-oriented games.
Some of the vendors and non-profit organizations will include two of the dock diving dog groups, boarding facilities, mobile groomer and dog food manufactures.
"There will be a pretty diverse group of vendors that will be there and non-profits," Simmons said.
A few more contests were added to the festival, along with some old favorites. Simmons said they have added a six-legged egg race, sack race, along with some favorites like obedience type events and a peanut butter eating contest.
"It is nice to get out and enjoy the park and be in company with all the dogs," Simmons said. "Most breed dogs like the company of their same breed."
The festival will also feature food for people, which will be donated.
A $5 donation is suggested per dog to participate in the festival, with all funds being donated to the LRRoF and Wagging Tails Dog Park in Cape Coral.
She said last year the festival raised approximately $3,000, which was split between LRRoF and the dog park.
The festival is sponsored by Cape Dog Bakery and Cape Coral Parks & Recreation Department.