Animals of all kinds at heart of annual Manor Township festival
Fluffy and furry animals of all kinds are invited to the third annual Fall For Animals Festival Oct. 7 and 8 in Manor Township.
“We invite all pets, on leashes and having proof of a rabies vaccine,” says festival organizer Sandy Cullen. “Horses, cats and dogs have attended.”
Organizers have increased the hours and vendors this year, up from 50, all spread around the grounds of Crooked Creek Horse Park during the two-day festival.
Hosted by the Fort Armstrong Horseman's Association and Foundation, the two-day event raises proceeds for 11 Western Pennsylvania animal shelters, sanctuaries and rescues — including Orphans of the Storm in Kittanning and Kiski Cat and Kitten Rescue.
“We are seeing more animals being sent up (to Pennsylvania) from the South with the hurricanes (Harvey and Irma),” Cullen says.
Last year's event raised almost $7,000, short of the $10,000 goal. Proceeds will be distributed evenly among participating charities.
This year, Cullen says organizers have a jump start, thanks to a successful Fall For Animals dance, hosted in September.
“We raised $2,000 with the dance and we really want to make our $10,000 goal this year.”
Adoptable pets will be available to meet and adoption applications will be on hand, Cullen says.
“Our sole purpose is to find homes for all of these shelter animals,” Cullen says. “Bringing them together in one spot, so people can talk with the shelters and see which animals are available.”
Festival highlights will include wine tasting, basket raffles, live entertainment, a car cruise and pet costume contest.
The “for fun” pet show begins at 2 p.m. Oct. 7 and requires a $5 registration fee. All domesticated pets may participate, vying for ribbons and prizes competing in categories such as “waggiest tail” and “best trick.”
New this year is a free children's Halloween costume contest at 6 p.m. Oct. 7. Children's activities also include face-painting, horse drawn carriage rides (additional fee) and pumpkin painting.
Food vendors will offer a variety of tasty treats.
Live entertainment on Oct. 7 includes Street Fair at 4 p.m.
Look for Turner Dairy Farm's bright orange “Tea Bird” classic Thunderbird, spinning up oldies music while serving complimentary iced tea on Oct. 8 — with a car cruise scheduled to begin at noon.
Cullen is “most excited” to add nationally known researcher and author Stan Gordon of Greensburg for an illustrated lecture, “Strange Encounters of Pennsylvania,” at 1 p.m. Oct. 8.
Since 1959, Gordon has researched the history of UFOs, Bigfoot and other mysterious incidents that have occurred in the Pittsburgh area. Gordon will be available to sign copies of his book at the conclusion of his program.
Pre-registration is required and tickets are $5 per person.
Joyce Hanz is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.