Village Voice Paw-ty in the Park returns  

Pooch festival Village Voice Paw-ty in the Park returns

By Evie Drinnan

Last year’s successful Newstead dog festival, Village Voice Paw-ty in the Park, will return for its second year to celebrate International Dogs’ Day.

The event will feature entertainment for pooches such as a food tasting experience, agility course, dog show, and pet products, as well as for their diligent owners, with food trucks, live music, children’s activities, market stalls and more.

Event Founder Suzanne Guastini said: “The purpose of this event is to link together and deepen community connections, raise awareness of a brilliant charity, educate people about dog health and ownership, and for dogs and dog owners to have fun.

“Running the event for a second year is only possible due to the generosity of local businesses, who are sponsoring the event and providing raffle prizes to help us raise money for this year’s chosen charity, Empower Assistance Dogs,” Ms Guastini said.

Empower Assistance Dogs (EAD) leads the way in training assistance dogs for people with a disability, mental health clients, and therapy dogs for schools and aged care homes.

EAD CEO Tracey Murray said: “It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to get out and about in the community and educate people about the difference between assistance and therapy dogs. Feel free to visit us and ask us any questions you may have.”

Event sponsor Newstead Vets will be conducting free dental check ups, and people can bring up any other dog health concerns they may have.

“You can also meet a much-loved local author, Lyndal Clark, who wrote Muffin: The Gumtree Girl Who Rescued Me,” Ms Guastini said.

“Lyndal actually founded a Facebook group in 2018 called Newstead Dog Lovers, which has over 2,000 members. She then lobbied the Council to open the Newstead Dog Park at Waterfront Park, where the festival is going to be held. Newstead has a very connected, thriving community of dog owners.”

Hamilton Ward Councillor Julia Dixon and Central Ward Councillor Vicki Howard said they are thrilled to support the event through the Lord Mayor’s Community Fund.

“Paw-ty in the Park at Waterfront Park in Newstead is a highlight in the local events calendar not just for residents, but also their furry friends,” Cr Howard said.

Cr Dixon added: “I am looking forward to being there on the day to join the Newstead community in celebrating our canine friends and connecting with locals.”

Dogs will be up for adoption at the event, and there will be multiple stalls offering education and pet care products.

“Come along and grab a coffee and some snacks while your dog has a party!” Ms Guastini said.

Village Voice Pawty in the Park will be held Saturday, August 24, from 10am – 12:30pm at Waterfront Park in Newstead.

Although the festival is free, event organisers would appreciate people signing up using the link:

Newstead Vets Practice Manager Eviie Veron and event organiser Suzanne Guastini. Photography: Luke Barger

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