Man’s best friend will be the guest of honor next week at Copper Mountain Resort during the inaugural Copper’s Gone to the Dogs festival Saturday, June 28. The event will include a number of activities geared toward dog owners and their four-legged friends.
“We were looking for more unique festivals to host here at Copper, and this opportunity arose,” resort spokeswoman Austyn Williams told the Daily. “As a dog owner myself, I’m really excited to host this event. With all the dogs in the county, it will be really exciting to see so many in one area.”
The event will include 5K and 10K runs for owners and their pets, along with a vendor village with dog-related retailers and activities. Proceeds benefit the League for Animals and People of the Summit (LAPS), a Summit County nonprofit that can help pay for expensive animal medical costs if their owners qualify for assistance.
“They’re a great local organization that I don’t think a lot of people know about,” Williams said. “If your dog is so smart that she decides to swallow a tennis ball they can help.”
Williams’ dog, Barley, recently did just that and LAPS paid about 50 percent of the cost of treatment.
In addition to the run and vendor village, the day will include demonstrations by Copper Mountain’s avalanche dogs, dock jumping in West Lake and a number of other activities. Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald — known for his appearances on Animal Planet’s “Emergency Vets” — will be on hand for an afternoon question-and-answer session at the Incline Bar & Grill. In addition to his television appearances, Fitzgerald has been a Denver-area veterinarian for close to 30 years and lectures at conferences on a variety of animal issues.
Breckenridge-based Snow Caps Sled Dogs owner Orion Paiement plans to demonstrate his Tug-and-Tow retractable bike leash and provide information on his summer sled dog scooter tours.
“I think it’s a great idea,” he said of the first-year event. “Especially in this community, dogs are regarded as a member of the family.”
Paiement said he will probably have a few of his sled dogs with him but likely won’t be running demonstrations.
“This year I’m going to keep it pretty simple,” he said adding that he may look to expand his presence at the event in the future.
More information and run registration is available at www.coppercolorado.com