Pet dogs, canine portraits, try your hand at showing Nov. 7-10
KALAMAZOO, MICH. – Thinking about getting a dog? A portrait of your canine BFF? Looking to entertain the kids?
Head to the West Michigan Harvest Cluster Dog Show Nov. 7 through 10 at the Kalamazoo County Expo Center – and you can do all of this and more! Admission to the show is free; parking is $5 per car. The show runs 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 7 and 8, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 9 and 10.
“We’ll have about 1,000 exhibitors and 3,700 dogs from all over the U.S. — plus Canada and South America — and this show averages about 1,100 to 1,200 hotel room nights over four days,” said Kevin Nieboer, chairman of the West Michigan Harvest Cluster Dog Show. “There isn’t going to be a square inch of the expo center that isn’t filled with dogs.”
If you’re only going to come to one day of the show, Nieboer said make it Saturday. This year, people can “meet the breed” from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday. Bring the kids and pet about 35 different types of dogs – from big to small – and ask breeders questions. If you’re in the market for a dog, Nieboer said this is a great place to learn which dog breed would best fit your lifestyle.
Also from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday, both adults and kids can try their hand at showing dogs, as American Kennel Club (AKC) handlers will offer free one-on-one instruction. According to Nieboer, it’s a great way to learn tips from the pros and see if you have an interest or aptitude to show dogs.
Also new this year, a Grand Rapids ArtPrize contestant, Michele Anscombe, will display her 20-by-5-foot acrylic painting featuring more than 150 life-size AKC dogs. Each day, people can ask Anscombe questions about her large-scale art and hand her their favorite dog photo to take home and paint for a fee.
Additionally, every day of the show, there will be an owner/handler competition for nonprofessionals. And attendees are welcome to hang out in the grooming area and watch dogs as they’re prepped for showing. People can also venture on a dog show tour and see what happens behind the scenes, and visit vendors, who will sell items such as doggie treats, supplies and more.
Kevin Nieboer, chairman
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