Downtown Palm Harbor's first Oktoberfest is going to the dogs - the canines at the Suncoast Animal League.
The daylong dog-friendly event, set for Saturday, Oct. 18, will include; a run, arts and crafts festival, Bavarian music and food and doggie contests.
Rich Chaboudy, Suncoast Animal League president, said he got the idea of creating an Oktoberfest for downtown Palm Harbor just a few weeks ago.
The idea quickly caught on with both merchants and animal lovers. Several downtown restaurateurs offered support, along with International House of Pancakes and Budweiser's Warsteiner German Beer, Chaboudy said.
Chaboudy hopes the Oktoberfest becomes an annual event that will promote the historic downtown district and raise much-needed funds for the Suncoast Animal League.
The day kicks off at 8 a.m. with a 5K and 1-mile, dog friendly, run and walk starting on Florida Avenue, and crossing Alt. 19 to the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail and back.
Entry fee for the 5K is $25 a person, with the 1-mile run being $15. On-site registration begins the day of the race at 6:30 a.m. On-line registration is available at www.active.com.
From 8:30 a.m. until noon, the International House of Pancakes will serve a breakfast downtown that will include special pooch pancakes, Chaboudy said.
From 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. arts and craft vendors will display their creations.
No Oktoberfest would be complete without a tapping of the keg, and the Suncoast Animal League plans to add its special twist at noon, he said. A dachshund and German shepherd wearing kegs will herald the event.
Deutschmeister Blas, a 15-member Bavarian-style band from New Port Richey, will entertains the crowd 1 - 3 p.m.
Plenty of traditional Oktoberfest and American style food and music will be available, he added.
At 5 p.m. an Oktoberfest doggie costume contest will be held, followed at 6 p.m. by the "Running of the Wieners," a Dachshund races.