A doggone good time: City hosts first event in conjunction with Humane Society


Lynne Coverdale pauses with a dog. Adoptable dogs will be available for a meet-and-greet during Barktoberfest. (Photo by Sadie Hunter)

The City of Westfield prides itself on hosting events that include all members of the family, and its newest event expands that even more. For the first time, the city will partner with the Humane Society for Hamilton County to put on a pet-friendly fundraiser in Asa Bales Park.

Planning for Barktoberfest began a year ago when HSHC board member Lynne Coverdale approached the city.

“Lynne approached us over a year ago about the fact that Westfield doesn’t host an event to benefit the humane society,” said Kelley Wells, community event manager for the Westfield Parks and Recreation Dept. “They kind of do one in Noblesville and Fishers, and it would be nice to loop in Westfield since we’re such a big part of Hamilton County to see if we could do something to benefit the Humane Society.”

With Wells being a dog lover herself, the end result is Barktoberfest, set from 3 to 7 p.m. Oct. 28 at Asa Bales Park, 205 W. Hoover St.

“What we’ve molded it into is a fall festival geared towards animal lovers,” Wells said.


Musical entertainment will be ongoing throughout the event with performances by the Cold Koffee Band and Machine Gun Preacher Band. A pet-costume contest will take place on the main stage. Registration for the costume contest is free, but only the first 20 contestants who register can participate.

The Canine Cabana area will be a fun zone with a face painter and a caricature artist. The Westfield High School animal club will do paw prints. A professional photographer will be available to take photos of dogs and their owners.

An agility arena will be set up where dogs can showcase agility skills.

Lynne Coverdale, left, and Kelley Wells helped launch the inaugural Barktoberfest to take place Oct. 28. (Photo by Sadie Hunter)

Mutt Mart:

In addition to entertainment, 14 vendors will be available, including groomers, vets, pet stores, pet bakeries and more. Food and beverage vendors also will be available. A Humane Society Hut will be on site  where the HSHC will showcase adoptable dogs. Although the dogs are unable to be adopted on-site, those interested are able to meet the dogs and then are encouraged to visit the Humane Society to fill out an adoption application. A raffle is available through the Humane Society and five items will be given away, though not all are pet-related.

Cat vs. Dog:

The event is pet-friendly and pets have free admission. The city is partnering with two radio stations for the event, and radio hosts will be on-site to put on a Cat vs. Dog challenge. Radio hosts will be in animal cages trying to raise money from cat people or dog people.

Wells said the city plans to make Barktoberfest an annual event, and Coverdale said the main difference between this event and others benefitting the HSHC is that it’s in Westfield.

“We get to spread news about our wonderful shelter near Westfield,” Coverdale said. “There really are people that don’t know about us. We want them to definitely know about what we do and the opportunity to raise funds as well as awareness and possibly get some babies adopted.”

The event costs $5 for people ages 10 and up. The HSHC’s fundraising goal is $10,000. Wells encourages attendees to pre-register. For more, visit westfieldwelcome.com/barktoberfest.

A map of the Barktoberfest event taking place at Asa Bales Park, 205 W. Hoover St. (Submitted image)

Schedule of events

  • 3:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.: Machine Gun Preacher Band performs
  • 5 p.m. to 5:40 p.m.: Cold Koffee Band performs
  • 5:40 p.m. to 6 p.m.: Pet Costume Contest
  • 6 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.: Westfield Police Dept. K-9 Demonstration
  • 6:20 p.m. to 7 p.m.: Cold Koffee Band performs second set

Vendor list

  • City BBQ
  • Uncle Gary’s Kettle Corn
  • Limonez Catering
  • S&V Meats
  • Grand Junction Brewing Company
  • Blackhawk Winery
  • The 2nd You
  • VCA Village Park
  • Furry Godmother
  • Speck’s Pet Supply
  • Legend Massage Therapy
  • Salin Bank
  • Eisenberg Kennel
  • USA Dog
  • Happy Mutt Pet Bakery
  • Animal Artistry Pet Grooming
  • Giddyup Pups
  • Liberty Mutual
  • KEEP Collective
  • Canine Cloud Nine
  • Rangeline Chiropractic
  • All-Star Vet Clinic

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