Santee’s ‘Fido Fest’ ready to be unleashed at Town Center Park


For the fourth straight year, dogs are going to have their day in Santee.

“Fido Fest,” the city’s annual dog festival, is back to jump-start summer a little early with four hours of fun for dogs and their people.

For the record:

9:57 p.m. June 5, 2019This story has been corrected to note that the event is from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.

The event, from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m., Saturday, June 8, at Town Center Community Park East will feature contests like dog/owner look-alike and best trick. There will also be dog-themed events such as a “Pawcasso” arts and crafts project, a doggie kissing booth, a hay bale mountain for dogs to climb, and “Puptini” drinks for dogs made with savory flavored water and hot dogs on skewers in martini-shaped plastic cups.

San Diego Flyball will set up a hurdle relay race where swift-pawed dogs will compete for treats and bragging rights. Stage demonstrations will include Guide Dogs for the Blind, Behavior Buddies dog training, the San Diego County Sheriff’s K-9 unit and a first-time demo by Victor, the Santee Fire Department’s Search and Rescue dog,

“It’s really nice to be able to take your dog there and interact with other dogs, or just come to look at the dogs having a good time,” Santee City Councilman Ronn Hall said. “I’ve gone for the last couple years and had a good time. There are a lot of little goodies there for the dogs, too. We are one of the friendlier dog cities in Santee. We do encourage people to bring them (to our parks).”

Local portrait artist Crossby Vargas will be on site to sketch caricatures of dogs and their humans, and vendors will demonstrate dog training tips and have pet products like doggie T-shirts, caps, leashes and harnesses for sale. Free microchipping and discounted vaccinations for animals will be available.

Those looking for a new family member will find several dog adoption agencies at the event. There will also be a “Shelter Showcase” at 9:30 a.m. and again at 10:20 a.m. on the park’s stage. Rescue organizations will introduce some of their adoptable dogs looking for a family at the two showcases.

The park is at 550 Park Center Drive.