When you’re a travel nurse constantly on the move, the company of a travel companion is priceless. For many, that companion just so happens to have four-legs and a tail. As you and your pup crisscross the country during or between assignments, drop in on these best dog festivals for travel nurses and their pups to visit for a little canine camaraderie.
Pawtoberfest (Colorado Springs, CO — September)
As you likely guessed from the name, this event is Oktoberfest themed, even though it takes place a couple weeks early. The day starts with a timed 5k or a casual 3k run/walk, either of which can be done with or without your dog. After you cross the finish line, head to the beer garden for samples from local breweries and, of course, tons of food. You’ll also enjoy a selection of games and activities designed for you and your pup. One of the biggest draws is the annual costume contest. Dogs and their owners frequently dress in coordinated outfits, a perfect warm up for Halloween.
Boxerstock (Atlanta, GA — October)
Lovers of all breeds are welcome at Boxerstock. The focal point is music, with rock, folk and blues artists from around the region delivering nearly six hours of live performances. In addition to the tunes, there are tons of fun events for kids, grownups and pups alike. Given the time of year, it’s no surprise that Boxerstock includes a costume contest with prizes for categories including “scariest dog.” You can also walk on water in a human hamster ball, bounce around on inflatables, learn about healthy pet food options and get training tips from local veterinarians.
Spring Dog Festival (Santa Cruz County, CA — May)
This fun festival has a little something for everyone. There are skills competitions throughout the day showcasing talented pups doing everything from herding to search and rescue to freestyle tricks. Away from the demo rings, you’ll find cool games with an international flair, like the Wimbledon Tennis Ball Fetch, Swiss Alps Agility Tunnel and Le Mans Mini Rally. Be sure to check out the frankfurter bobbing station — although you might want to let your dog participate in this one alone. Naturally, there are also plenty of vendors on site to show off the latest and greatest pet toys and gadgets.
Doggie Art Festival (Winter Park, FL — April)
Ever fear your dog isn’t quite cultured enough? An afternoon in this affluent Orlando suburb may be just what he needs. This dog-friendly gathering is all about bringing together the community’s two passions — art and arf — as attendees stroll downtown streets perusing paintings with their pups. Local and traveling artists offer a huge variety of pet-inspired arts and crafts. Have a caricature drawn of you and your pooch or get a photo taken to turn into holiday cards. There’s live music throughout the day and food and drink vendors around every corner.
CS Barks Dog Festival (Carol Stream, IL — September)
A few miles outside of Chicago, you’ll find the village of Carol Stream, home to the CS Barks Dog Festival. The event starts with a 3k Fido Fun Run open to all dogs so long as they’re good-natured, have all of their shots and stay on leash. Once the run is over, the good times really kick off. There is a pet talent competition, pooper scooper races and even a wedding-themed pet fashion show. You can kick back and enjoy Frisbee exhibitions, agility and obedience demonstrations and the dog Olympics. They even have a Rover Rest Area for pups worn out from all the excitement.