Calling all dogs: GoldenFest XII is scheduled for November 13 at the Shell Factory

Happy dogs will abound at GoldenFest XII at the Shell Factory. DENNIS GUYITT / COURTESY PHOTO

A huge pet fair, GoldenFest XII, will be held this fall in Southwest Florida.

Organized by Golden Retriever Rescue of Southwest Florida, the festival will be held at the Shell Factory & Nature Park in North Fort Myers from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 13.

Events include dozens of vendors, exhibits, diving with dock dogs, obedience, flyball, scents, trick and agility demonstrations, K-9 sheriff’s office demonstrations , live music by the Rosada Project, dancing by the Calendar Girls, refreshments, a Santa Paws photo booth, a huge raffle and silent auction, and much more.

There will be hundreds of goldens rescued by the GRRSWF over the years, each sporting an “adopted” bandana. The rescue, founded in 2009, has rescued more than 1,000 goldens and golden mixes from Florida as well as South Korea.

“We are so proud of all the puppies and families we have helped over the past 12+ years,” said Dennis Guyitt, GRRSWF Vice President and Golden-Fest XII Coordinator. “GoldenFest is our chance to show our friends in Southwest Florida the best of what we do.”

“GoldenFest is our annual fundraiser that raises funds to help the dogs we foster,” said GRRSWF President Alesia Griffith. “This event started a few years ago and has grown into a huge fun event for the whole family. We have all kinds of fun activities for the whole family, human and canine. People come from all over for GoldenFest and it’s such a joy to see everyone having such a good time.

There will also be a reunion tent for the golden retrievers that GRRSWF rescued from South Korea. Since 2015, the rescue has rescued over 70 goldens from this country to raise awareness of the dog meat industry that still exists in some parts of the world. The group also rescued three goldens from Iran and two from China as part of its international mission.

“We’re adding new events like obedience, agility and flyball demonstrations, pony rides, live music, onsite food and drink, and the pursuit of our fan favorite: the dockside diving. It’s the best and biggest canine event of the year,” Mr. Guyitt said.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office will have a strong presence at GoldenFest this year, with K9 demonstrations, deputy dogs, training demonstrations, the Sheriff Carmine Marceno ice cream truck, a Team Bear Cat SWAT vehicle, and a virtual reality where visitors can experience the real-life decision-making of an assistant.

A group of ABC 4 K9, a dog training group in North Fort Myers, will perform obedience and rally demonstrations. Representatives from Bratty Paws in Punta Gorda will demonstrate canine agility. There will also be scuba diving with dock dogs, always a popular draw.

Providers include a wide variety of pet-related businesses, services, and nonprofits.

The Gunterberg Charitable Foundation – Brotherhood of Heroes is the title sponsor. Additional sponsors are David and Linda Lucas; Fort Myers Subarus; the Kiwanis Club of Cape Coral; Company Holdings; Florida Weekly; Jeff Cull and Ella Nayor; duck designs; Florida Restoration; Roxanne and Cliff Smith; In memory of G. Gordon Bailey; Morris Animal Foundation; United Way Beesley’s paw prints; National Bank and FineMark Trust; San Cap Community Bank; FETCH; Monica and David Fry; Fast Track flight; an anonymous local family foundation; Lee County Sheriff’s Office; and the Shellfish Factory and Natural Park.

The Shell factory is located at 16554 N. Cleveland Ave. in North Fort Myers.

All breeds of well-behaved, leashed dogs, especially Golden Retrievers, are welcome to attend with their owners. Admission, parking and bandanas for all dogs present are free.

For more information, visit, email [email protected], or call 239-369-0415. ¦

In the TO KNOW

GoldenFest XII

10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday Nov 13

The Shell Factory & Nature Park, 16554 N. Cleveland Ave., North Fort Myers., [email protected] or 239-369-0415.

About Maria Hunter

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