"There's Something Happening Here..."
Bob Birdwell and Pat Putman
“...but what it is ain’t exactly clear.” Steven Stills’ 1967 lyrics seem to have been made more relevant by Northern California’s Woofstock Festival June 4-7, four days of “Peace, Music and Dogs.” What’s “happening” is that the buzz started right after the inaugural “festival” in 2008 and grew throughout the year, becoming deafening in the weeks just prior to the four-day Woofstock 2009, held at the Solano County Fairgrounds in Vallejo, Calif. Exhibitors, handlers, vendors and judges seemed to sense that this show would be different. In an age where dog shows are under heavy scrutiny and dog people are seen by many as “snooty,” Woofstock has a different, more relaxed atmosphere. It ain’t exactly clear if it’s due to the melding of two fantastic kennel clubs — the Contra Costa County KC and Skyline Dog Fanciers of San Mateo County, with the creative guidance of Kimberly Meredith-Cavanna — the continuous rock music playing in the background, the tie-dyed attire with long hair and headbands, the live band on Saturday night, or the effort by a lot of people to create
the “laid-back” atmosphere, but it is exactly clear that it was a big success! The music at Woofstock began at 6:30 each morning and didn’t stop until Best in Show was concluded. Almost anything that could be tie-dyed was tie-dyed. The outside rings were well shaded and adorned with tie-dyed flags. The Toy dogs were pampered in the Exposition Hall with tie-dyed table coverings and banners at every ring, and lots of fresh plants and as many flowers as were in people’s hair. But what was really noticeable was that the hall looked like a shopping mall the week before Christmas! The crowd didn’t thin out all day. Everyone wanted to be a part of this “happening.”
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