A local dog named Finnigan poses patiently for a photograph as if he is ready to attend Woofstock, a festival now in the planning stages that is expected to celebrate alternative culture as well as dogdom and classic rock ‘n roll. Finnigan’s owner is Angie Mead, daughter of Cindy Mead, who is organizing the festival. Photo provided
A festival focusing on dogs, celebrating 1960s culture and featuring classic rock and roll is now being planned for northern Warren County.
Cindy Mead of the Tri-Lakes Business Alliance — which has launched a variety of events with remarkable success — is now planning “Woofstock 2015” to be held in Chestertown.
In recent years, more than a half-dozen “Woofstock” events have been held across the U.S., drawing thousands of people from hundreds of miles away, generating substantial income for their host communities, while providing a lot of fun for visitors and residents alike, Mead said April 7.
The event would feature contests and activities for dogs as well as their owners, she said, noting that she attended a Woofstock festival in the Florida Keys last year, enjoyed it immensely, and decided it would be an ideal new event for northern Warren County.
“It will be a wonderful day of peace, paws and music,” she said, quoting the slogan of the festival in Islamorada, Fla. which has attracted 5,000 people and 1,000 dogs in its third year.
She said she was convinced that northern Warren County is an ideal site for a Woofstock fest.
“We’re definitely going to do it, and we’re gonna go big with this one, she said, noting she’s already recruited about 10 people to help her plan and organize the fest. Monday, she was preparing letters to mail out to potential vendors across the Northeast for the initial edition of the festival, expected to be held in early summer 2015.
“There are Woofstock festivals all over the nation, but none in the entire Northeast U.S.,” Mead said, predicting such a “destination festival” in Chestertown would be quite popular.
In Toronto Canada, Woofstock annually attracts 300,000 people accompanied by 80,000 dogs. Mead said she intends for the Chestertown Woofstock to be held on a more manageable scale. She said that the sports field at the Chester Municipal Center and the old Pottersville Fairground were both potential sites for the event.
Already, Chestertown hosts the annual Halloween Pug Party & Parade, which has drawn hundreds of people to Dynamite Hill for 15 years. Mead said that Woofstock wouldn’t conflict, as it would be held in June, would host different activities, and be open to all breeds.
Also, the fest would have a more expansive purpose, celebrating late 1960s and early 1970s culture and music, with a lineup of bands playing classic music, and perhaps include craft-brewed beer as does the Woofstock held in Greenville, S.C. That event bills itself as “A Day of Brews, Bands & Barks.”
Mead added that she was lining up a dog diving pool, and was considering inviting celebrity Rachael Ray, a noted dog lover with local roots, to serve as a judge at the event. She added that she expects the Chestertown Woofstock to have a freewheeling, fun atmosphere that appeals to all ages.
“Imagine people and dogs at the festival wearing classic tie-dye and bandanas, John Lennon sunglasses, and 1960s costumes — It’s hysterical,” she said.