Leesburg Pet Festival hosts doggy talent show, obstacle course

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews The Village at Leesburg's Pet Festival (Part 1)

Do you have a four-legged friend with special talents who just might rock a doggy obstacle course?

Grab a leash and head to The Village at Leesburg’s Pet Festival on Saturday, Sept. 16, from 12 to 4 p.m.

“We’re really excited to bring it back this year for the fourth year,” The Village at Leesburg’s marketing manager Shelby Lofton told WTOP. “It’s going to be a great day. We’re praying and our fingers are crossed that it’s a great weather day and the fall weather comes back so that it’s pet-friendly for everyone.”

The free outdoor event will be held at The Village at Leesburg Plaza with free parking in the Wegman’s shopping center at 1602 Village Market Boulevard, Southeast, located on Route 7 just east of Leesburg, Virginia.

Pets can enjoy an array of fun activities, including a lure obstacle course and a doggy ball pit.

“All activities will be pet friendly,” Lofton said. “We will have the luring course, which is basically a doggy playground with some professionals that will guide your dog, so they can come off the leash and do the different obstacle courses that they will have set up, kind of similar to what you see for some of the national dog shows. … We’ll also have the doggy ball pit, which is once again closed off, so it’s a free-range roaming area for the pets.”

Your pet can also compete in the “Leesburg’s Got Talent: Pet Edition,” sponsored by Wiggle Butt & Whiskers. To register, call 757-522-7155 or send a direct message to Wiggle Butt & Whiskers on social media.

“We have three different levels: beginners, intermediates and pros,” Lofton said. “Don’t stress out if your dog isn’t fully capable of all the things. Just come out and showcase your cute fur babies. … The beginner’s level is just basic commands: sit, stay, down. Intermediate is more of the tricks or talents if your dog has any special talents you’d like to showcase. The pros are the trainers that will showcase their capabilities. We’ll have winners in each level.”

For the rest of us two-legged human folks, there will also be live music, a balloon artist, a caricaturist and more.

“Even if you don’t have pets, we still encourage you to come out because it’s a fun day of activities,” Lofton said.

You might even go home with a brand new friend! You can adopt a pet from 10 on-site animal rescue organizations, including America’s K-9 Caring Angels, Lucky Dog Bandanas, K9 Lifesavers, Loudoun County Animal Services, Akita Rescue Mid-Atlantic, Heeling House, Homeless Animals Rescue Team, Homeward Trails Animal Rescue, Chesapeake Area Alaskan Malamute Protection and Bobbie’s Pit Bull Rescue & Sanctuary.

“These rescues will be there with pets and dogs that are available for adoption, so if you are looking to adopt a dog for your family or just want to learn more about that process, this is definitely the day to come out,” Lofton said.

The first 250 guests to stop by the tent will receive a free branded doggy poop bag holder.

“You’ll definitely want to get there early because those will go extremely fast,” Lofton said.

Find more information here.

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews The Village at Leesburg's Pet Festival (Part 2)

Listen to our full conversation here.

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Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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