Celebrating the Dog Days of Summer: Markesan to host its first Dog Park fundraising event in July | News

Markesan Mayor Rich Slate skates with his son’s dog, Bart, who he taught to pull him on roller blades. Slate is helping to organize a dog-themed event in Markesan this summer.

Who let the dogs out in downtown Markesan?

This summer, the dogs will run the show for a night.

Each month during the summer, the city of Markesan hosts an event.


Markesan native Drew Bernhagen’s dog, Doodles, right, has many different talents and loves playing with other dogs, as well as playing fetch with a lot of types of toys.

In June, there are June Dairy Days; August has the corn roast, but July is lacking an event.

The leaders of Markesan got together earlier this month to create a new July event.

“We created the Dog Days of Summer event for everyone to come and have fun with their dogs in downtown Markesan,” Markesan Mayor and event organizer and Rich Slate said. “We are letting the dogs take over the town for the night.”


Markesan native Drew Bernhagen’s dog, Doodles, left, plays with another dog. The city of Markesan is fundraising to build a dog park.

The theme “Dog Days of Summer” was introduced because of a fundraising goal that Markesan is working toward: building a dog park.

This dog park location is still being determined, but the current idea is to put it across the street from the cemetery, near the sewage plant.


Markesan native Daniel Saylor and his dog, Hank, love to play catch with the football.

Even though the specifics have not been fully released to the public, the fundraising has already begun.

“My idea, to set the dog park apart from other parks, is to put a fire hydrant in the middle of the park for the dogs to enjoy,” Slate said.

The Dog Days of Summer event will become the first organized fundraising event for the dog park, and the first annual event to be held in July each summer.

“We plan to make the Dog Days of Summer event our annual July event, just like June Dairy Days is for the month of June,” Slate said.

The Hornet’s Nest bar in downtown Markesan will work closely with the city and the chamber to get the event up and running smoothly.


Allison Ott and dog Daisy practice dog agility.

The event will kick off Friday, July 15 at 5 pm with live music from “Family Tradition with Steve and Renae” outside of the Hornet’s Nest, followed by “Spark Spark Bang.”

Starting at 7:10 pm, a dog parade will be followed by a dog show through Bridge Street for which awards will be given to dogs based on different categories.

Some of the categories for which dogs may be recognized include “Owner Dog Look-Alike,” “Tallest Dog,” “Most Energetic Dog,” “Best Hairstyle” and much more.

The dog parade and dog show are open for all to participate. The only requirement is that the dog gets registered at the site upon arrival.

The parade is similar to a dog show in the fact that dogs will be asked to walk in a big circle and get judged based on their category. Winning dogs will receive prizes, including treats and ribbons.


Along with his dream of becoming a model, Rocky is talented at playing dead.

The 4-H program, led by Joann Klatt, will hold an obedience test and agility show for dogs to participate in.. Dogs will receive ribbons and treats if they win in either of these events.

“I used to train dogs, including my son’s dog, Bart,” Slate said. “In the last two June Dairy Days parades, I had Bart rollerblade me through the parade route.”

A recreation of one of Slate’s favorite pet shows, David Letterman’s “Stupid Pet Tricks” will also take place.

This is where a pet’s owner teaches them a trick that isn’t something that is typically seen or taught by others.

Although Slate has trained dogs to pull him on rollerblades, he will not compete in this year’s event as he is looking to get a new puppy. But Slate is excited to watch all of the tricks that people have been teaching their dogs.

For more information on the event or to make a donation for the dog park, call the city of Markesan at 920-398-3031.


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