Barktober 2018

File photo

Mucho and owner Kelsey Geisler check out the activities at last year’s Barktober event, sponsored by the Streets of Monticello Association.

MONTICELLO — It’s time for downtown Monticello to go to the dogs.

The fifth annual Barktober will take place Oct. 5 at Constitution Plaza and the Streets of Monticello Association is ready for plenty of dogs — accompanied by their owners — to show in costumes or with just a collar and leash.

“Dogs, dogs, dogs — any way they come. Some dress them up, some dress alike, some have signs on them,” SOMA President Kathryn Springer said of the event. “We usually prepare for 75 dogs and have twice as many people.”

The walk is a family event that promotes exercise, people visiting the downtown and introducing businesses to more potential customers, she said.

Registration begins at 1 p.m., followed by the walk at 1:30 p.m. The first 75 registered canines will receive a doggie goodie bag. Cost is $10 per dog, with proceeds benefiting S.O.M.A. downtown projects.

If it rains, as was the case last year, the event will move to Oct. 6.

Springer said celebrity judges will be on hand to award prizes in this year’s dog contests, and Pastor Kelly Sellers, of Monticello United Methodist Church, will offer a dog blessing.

Dogs must be on non-retractable leashes and have current rabies vaccinations, and owners must provide their own cleanup items for their pets.

Even though last year’s event was hampered by the threat of rain — it didn’t actually rain until the last dog award was handed out — and kept many people away, Springer said it was a “great success.” The 2018 event registered 25 dogs and a pony.

“We anticipate this year’s walk to be even bigger and better,” she said.