Doggone fun at Art Paws this Sunday

Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 4:01 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The “Biggest Little Dog Park” in downtown Reno is a popular spot for dog owners who live downtown. The concept and fundraising began back in 2017. With the help of private donations and community support, it was up and running in 2018. And according to one woman who helps maintain the park, it wouldn’t have been possible without funding from Art Paws.

“Art Paws was a major driver in helping us get started,” says Sherron Elledge with the Biggest Little Dog Park. “And then helped us with yearly contributions from the Art Paws event to help us fine tune and add a lot of the amenities,” she says.

That’s right. The volunteer-run, all-dog event raises money every year during Artown. The third Sunday in July is set aside for dog owners and lovers to compete, learn, and just have fun at McKinley Park.

It’s the only event in Artown to not only allow dogs but encourages them to come.

“We don’t really invite people, we invite dogs. We just expect people to come with them,” says Michelle McHardy, organizer of Art Paws.

This is the 20th year for the in-person event.

Last year Art Paws went virtual because of COVID. And this year, the event’s fate was uncertain. That was until six and a half weeks ago when the city of Reno gave thumbs up to the event which typically takes ten months to organize.

There is no cost to get in. But McHardy says 2021 attendees will notice donation jars around the park to help raise money for little-known animal welfare and art groups in Northern Nevada.

Some of the most popular events include dog costume contests, and Paw-Casso painting. Approximately 5,000 people attend this event yearly.

McHardy hopes there’s a bent-up desire for animal lovers to come to McKinley park and enjoy the doggone action.

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