It’s October, which means beer festivals, costume parties and plenty of chances to enjoy fall with your pup. Here’s this month’s round-up of dog-focused and dog-friendly events around Charlotte.
You know your dog best. Consider your four-legged friend’s comfort around crowds, noise and other dogs before venturing out to these events – and remember not all humans are as eager to say hello as your dog can be. All canine event-goers should be leashed, friendly and vaccinated unless otherwise noted.
Fall Festival at USNWC
Bring your dog to enjoy the sights and smells of fall during U.S. National Whitewater Center’s annual Fall Festival. The daylong, dog-friendly event features a costumed obstacle trail race, yoga, cider sampling and the signature build-your-own-boat competition. Find a comfy spot along the channel to snuggle up with your pup and cheer on the costumed captains on the water, or hit more than 40 miles of trails in search of early hints of fall color.
Hit Divine Barrel – dog-friendly inside and out – for the one-year anniversary celebration of its NoDaHood Market. Expect local vendors, live music, food trucks and, of course, a full tap list. Yappy Hour Bakery’s dog treat truck will be on-site with baked treats, cakes and other goodies for four-legged guests.
Oktoberfest: A Tails & Ales Celebration
Raise a glass for a good cause at Belmont’s second annual Oktoberfest celebration. This year’s event, which takes place at Stowe Park, will raise money for a future dog park for the city. In the meantime, expect the daylong festival to include dog-friendly vendors and activities as well as plenty of beverages, bands and booths to please human attendees, too.
Blessing of the Animals
Oct. 4 marks the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi – better known to many pet lovers as the patron saint of animals. At least two area churches will celebrate dogs, cats and other pets during Blessing of the Animals events. Saint John Neumann Catholic Church in east Charlotte will host its celebration in its courtyard at noon Saturday, Oct. 5. Christ Episcopal Church in Myers Park will welcome animals on its lawn Sunday, Oct. 6, at 4 pm (weather permitting).
Pop-Up Dog Training: Toy & Food Guarding
If your pooch gets a little too protective of his or her favorite treats and toys, this pop-up class at Birdsong Brewing is for you. Bring your dog and join the Humane Society of Charlotte to learn basic obedience and dog manners rooted in positive reinforcement and a fear-free approach. This class is part of HSC’s First Class Canine training series.
Ties & Tails Gala
The annual Humane Society of Charlotte Ties & Tails Gala promises an elegant evening with four-legged flair. TV personalities Larry Sprinkle and Michelle Boudin will emcee the affair, which includes a cocktail reception, live and silent auctions, and dinner and dancing. Well-behaved pups are welcome. Get there early to enjoy signature drinks and pet portraits during cocktail hour, or stay late for the after-party at Westin’s SoCo Bar.
Dog Walks at Unknown Brewing
Meet at Unknown Brewing to join other Charlotte pups and their parents for these regular Gold District dog walks on Panthers away-game Sundays. The event fee includes a local, sustainable and delicious treat from Calvin’s Craft Cookies for your dog as well as an also local, also delicious pint of craft beer for you.
Pug-O-Ween at Lucky Dog Charlotte
Because the only thing funnier than a pug’s personality is a pug dressed as a pumpkin. Take your four-legged friend for a ride to Lucky Dog Bark & Brew Charlotte’s third annual Pug-O-Ween. There’ll be a canine costume contest (all breeds welcome), drink specials, food trucks, dog-friendly vendors and more. The best part: 10% of bar sales and all donations collected during the event will benefit Mid-Atlantic Pug Rescue. Don’t forget your ID: Lucky Dog Bark & Brew is 21+.
You have two chances left this year to check out this pup-friendly (flea-free) pop-up market featuring 50+ vendors, food trucks, live music, beer and fall weather. Look for Uptown Flea at the corner of Tryon and 7th Street near Duckworth’s. Pro tip: bring cash. It might get you a discount with select vendors.
Howl-o-Ween Pawty at Catawba Brewing
Catawba Brewing Company plays host to this kid- and dog-friendly Halloween celebration. Get the full family’s costumes ready: there’ll be prizes for best family, spookiest dog and best super dog costumes. You’ll also get the chance to pose for a family Howl-o-Ween Pawty portrait. This event is co-hosted by and benefits Catering to Cats and Dogs.
Howl-o-ween Costume Pawty at Lucky Dog Steele Creek
Think you’ve got what it takes to dress up with your dog and vie for Best Duo? This is your chance to prove it. A $20 donation to co-host Carolina Big Hearts Big Barks Rescue gets you entry in the Howl-o-ween Costume Pawty contest and a Halloween-themed picture with your pup. There’ll be costume contest prizes, plenty of treats and goodies, and adoptable dogs on-site for meet and greets. Don’t forget your ID: Lucky Dog Bark & Brew is 21+.
Doggy Costume Contest
Head to Bold Missy Brewery for this costume contest with a cause. Doggy Costume Contest prize categories include Spookiest, Funniest, Inspired by a Bold Missy and more. But the best part? The brewery will donate $1 per pint sold to Bullies 2 The Rescue. Adoptable dogs will also be on-site to play.
Boxtoberfest at East Coast Wings & Grill Waxhaw
Carolina Boxer Rescue will host this celebration of wings, beer and dogs at East Coast Wings & Grill’s Waxhaw location. Come hungry – there’ll be a special wing flavor – and dress for the weather as Boxtoberfest is an outdoor event. A number of local dog-friendly vendors will also be on-site.
No dogs allowed
As much as we enjoy bringing our four-legged friends along, not all events are dog-friendly. For the health and safety of attendees, dogs are not permitted at these October events:
• SCarowinds (Sept. 13 – Oct. 27, 2019)
• Great Grapes! Wine & Food Festival (Oct. 5, 2019)
• Carolina Renaissance Festival (Oct. 5 – Nov. 24, 2019)
• Carolina BalloonFest (Oct. 18 – 20, 2019)
• South End Wine Fest (Oct. 19, 2019)