Four-legged friends and their owners are invited to gather for fun, games and competition at Dogtober Fest 2018 on Sunday, October 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Kemper Outdoor Education Center located at 8201 Jasper Bell Road in Blue Springs.

This is the 25th year for the annual event, presented by Jackson County Parks + Rec.

Admission if free with donation of canned or bagged dog food

All canned and bagged dog food donations will benefit the Jackson County Regional Animal Shelter (Great Plains SPCA) and the Lee’s Summit Animal Shelter. The goal is to collect five tons.

“It is such an honor to have hosted an event for 25 years that continues to attract thousands of people and their pets, who are their family. This is a way for them to have fun, take advantage of valuable resources and meet others who share that same love for dogs,” said Michele Newman, director of Jackson County Parks + Rec. “We are proud to support our area animal shelters and look forward to serving our community in this capacity for the next 25 years.”

In celebration of the 25th Anniversary, there will be a special drawing every hour at 25 minutes after the hour. Guests can receive a ticket upon entering Dogtober Fest at the dog food donation area. Additionally, guests can participate in a free booth scavenger hunt for a chance to win a full day pontoon boat rental on Lake Jacomo.

Dogtober Fest 2018 is full of free contests and games throughout the day, such as Bobbing for Biscuits, Musical Discs and Roll-Over Races. And, don’t forget the Halloween Costume Contest at 1 p.m., featuring three categories: Frightful, Delightful (single or pair entries) and another for groups (3 or more dogs).

Visitors can also participate in the favorite “Tails for Trails Dog-Walk for Parks,” which is a one-mile walk on the nature trail at Kemper Outdoor Education Center. Registration is $20 in advance or $25 at the gate. Participants will receive a goodie-bag and have a chance to win valuable prizes. There are also small entry fees for dog sport competitions, agility clinics and good canine citizen testing.

Back by popular demand is the non-competitive “Canine Adventure Challenge.” The 20-plus course features obstacles designed to intrigue and build teamwork among dogs and owners. It’s done on a leash, allowing all dogs to join in, whether they have advanced training or none at all.

Nearly 100 vendor booths will feature pet products, services, breed education and demonstrations for pet owners. In addition, area animal shelters and rescue groups will showcase dogs available for adoption.

Owners who want to enter their dogs in select events and competitions can register in advance online or in person the day of the event. For more information and to download a printable brochure, visit