Give dogs a day out they deserve at the 10th Anniversary Marysville Poochapalooza! 

By Doug Buell

The Marysville Poochapalooza Outdoor Dog Festival returns to celebrate its 10th anniversary of giving dogs the fun day out they deserve on Saturday, July 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Asbery Field in downtown Marysville, Fourth Street and Alder Avenue.

“We have an amazing fun-filled day planned for guests and their BFLF (best four-legged friend),” said Leslie Buell, Poochapalooza founder and president of Marysville Dog Owners Group (M-DOG), the nonprofit group that hosts the annual fundraiser. “It has been our pleasure to put on this family-friendly, dog-friendly festival for a decade.”

Poochapalooza has come a long way since it premiered in 2006 as a new dog event, inspired by her own dog, Lucky Puppy, a Patterdale Terrier she adopted at the Everett Animal Shelter after he was found wandering backstreets in downtown Everett. The annual Marysville Strawberry Festival in June graciously sanctioned Poochapalooza, and it ran in a fenced field adjacent to the festival’s Market in the Park attraction. Both activities were a hit with festival-goers, until hungry visitors realized that the food stalls were contained in the far reaches of the market area where dogs weren’t allowed. To get to the food, you had to pass through the gauntlet of market vendors.

Lesson learned, M-DOG went lone wolf, establishing “The Pooch” as a separate event and moved to the second Saturday in July. Poochapalooza has had plenty of memorable moments since it opened the gates, Buell recalls. Lost (and found) dogs. The messy, competitive food fight that is the dog pie-eating contests. Wardrobe malfunctions on the catwalk…ur…dog walk during the Fashions and Rescues Runway Show. Best costume contestants who have dressed themselves and their dogs in elaborate pet wear like an Elvis hound dog get up with guitar, seafaring pirates, circus lion tamers, Indy racers, Dolly Parton and dachshunds in Lederhosen fitted to a rolling Bavarian beer barrel. And more recently, Running of the Wieners dachshund races have kept spectators amazed and laughing, featuring their share of speedy racers, as well as directionally-challenged dachshunds who leave their lanes mid-race to go chew the fat with onlookers. There’s a finish line?

On July 9, M-DOG returns with a full event schedule befitting of the biggest dog event in Snohomish County. Highlights will include the popular red carpet Fashions and Rescues Runway Show, featuring fashion-savvy adoptable dogs from regional rescue groups; and the Running of the Wieners dachshund races and mixed breed races for trophies, open to beginner and advanced hounds with a need for speed. Fan favorites the Emerald City Canine Freestyle Dancers return for exciting musical freestyle dancing that combines dog obedience and dance, at 11:30 a.m. in the Racing Arena.

Festival demonstrations this year will feature barn hunt by the Barn Hunt Association, agility demonstrations provided by the Rainier Agility Team, and a new lure coursing exhibition led by the Association of Puget Sound Coursing. “If you haven’t seen lure coursing before, picture fleet-footed hounds chasing white plastic bags (like rabbits) attached to a moving line of string, and you get the idea,” Buell said.

CGC Testing will also be available to you and your dog with a 10-step observation recognizing your pooch as obedient and well-behaved around people and other dogs. Pooches with a hidden talent can enter fun “Best in Show” contests and pie-eating contests. Contest donation cost is $5 for one contest, or $10 for unlimited contests (excluding the Pooch Pie-Eating Contest in big and small dog categories, which is $10.) Register and pay at the event or online at the Poochapalooza website, and see the complete schedule. The pie-eating contests are emceed and sponsored by Dining Dog Café and Bakery of Edmonds and Owner Dorothy Moore, with the Dog Dessert Dash hosted by Pupcakes LLC. Most activities will occur in the Poochapavilion sponsored by Angel of the Winds Casino and Hotel.

With more than 70 vendors selling unique dog-related products, we will have something for everyone, says Buell. M-DOG has boosted its number of pet raffle baskets to bid on, too. Food available for purchase from Annie’s Hot Dogs, Seattle Barkery, Kettle Corn by Rag Tag and others. Parking is free.

Poochapalooza is free, but a suggested minimum $5 donation per person is requested that includes goodie-filled “wag bags” to the first 350 visitors. Proceeds support Strawberry Fields for Rover Off-Leash Park for improvements such as agility equipment, bench seating, picnic tables and other amenities. The City-owned 3-acre dog park is maintained year-round by M-DOG volunteers in partnership with Marysville Parks and Recreation.

For more information, contact Leslie Buell at (425) 268-5285, email, or visit the website at Like Poochapalooza on Facebook at

 Poochapalooza is sponsored by:

Angel of the Winds Casino and Hotel, Roy Robinson Chevrolet Subaru, HomeStreet Bank, Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital, Himalayan Corporation, Petco, Marysville Co-op Supply, Evanger’s Food for Dogs and Cats, Dining Dog Café and Bakery, The Seattle Barkery, Blue Dog Bakery, PupCakes LLC, Classique Designs, K9 Korral, and Pet Connection Magazine.