BarkFest coming to MSA campus grounds

Published 3:01 pm Friday, March 21, 2014

PHOTO SUBMITTED / Adoptable Brookhaven Animal Rescue League dog, Taffy, looks at the Barkfest Facebook site to check out the activities planned for the April 12 event.

PHOTO SUBMITTED / Adoptable Brookhaven Animal Rescue League dog, Taffy, looks at the Barkfest Facebook site to check out the activities planned for the April 12 event.

With spring now officially here as of Thursday, thoughts are turning to outdoor events. One of the annual such activities in Brookhaven is the Brookhaven Animal Rescue League’s BarkFest on the grounds of the Mississippi School of Arts campus.

Participants are invited to bring their lawn chairs, the kids and dogs to BarkFest Saturday, April 12, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

The idea for BarkFest came about from the Mississippi School of the Arts students desire to raise awareness of the work BARL does in the community. The whole family is invited to attend, including furry friends. All dogs must be vaccinated, well behaved and leashed.

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“BarkFest is a wonderful event for BARL and the entire community,” said Samantha Sivils, BARL volunteer and event coordinator. “There is something for every one of all ages – including the family dogs. This is a wonderful opportunity to get your pooch out for some socialization, while mom enjoys the vendor’s booths, dads will love the car show, and the kids will enjoy the jump house and face painting.”

Sivils said, “The success of this event is built upon community participation and each year it continues to grow.”

A full agenda of activities are planned for the day.

The “Brookminster” dog show will begin at 10 a.m. A few of the “Brookminster” categories include Most Terrific Trick, Least Obedient, Best Smile, and Most Vocal.

Pre-registration entry fees for the show are $5 per category or $20 for unlimited categories and should be turned in by April 9. Registration forms are available at PetSense, Brookhaven Broadcasting or BARL’s Adoption Center. Registration forms are also available online at The day of the event, each category will be $8 or $30 for unlimited categories.

Chicken strip plate tickets are currently being sold for $8 each. The plate includes four hand-breaded chicken strips, fries, special sauce and a cookie. Plates may be picked up from 11a.m.-1 p.m. Contact any BARL board member or Dawn Daw at 601-695-4745 to purchase your tickets.

The talent show, better known as “Brookhaven Idol,” will start at 1 p.m. Pre-registration is only $10, and will be $15 the day of the event. The deadline for pre-registration is April 9th. Forms may be picked up at PetSense, Brookhaven Broadcasting, or BARL’s Adoption Center, or by emailing Registration forms are also available online at Categories will be judged by age: 12 and under, 13-18, and 19 and over.

Percy King will be onsite with his exotic animals, as well as BARL adoptable pets, and the Transformers Car Club Of Mississippi. Live entertainment will take part throughout the day featuring the music of Stone Water.

A new addition to BarkFest is the “Color My Paws Race for Rescues” to be held the morning of the event. Categories will include a 5K run/walk, the dog trot and a kids one mile fun run. Entry deadline is April 5. Adult registration BarkFest T-shirt. Registration forms are available online at

A bake sale, lemonade stand and various vendors selling unique items will be set up on campus. The lemonade stand will be set up and run by Raising Cane’s from Flowood..

For more information or to volunteer to help work this event, please contact Samantha Sivils at or 601-695-1987.

BARL is as a non-profit, limited admission, volunteer-based animal welfare group. The organization serves Copiah, Franklin and Lincoln counties. BARL provides food, shelter and veterinary services for abandoned and unwanted animals until they are adopted. All BARL animals are vet checked, vaccinated and spayed/neutered. Dogs are also micro-chipped.

Anyone interested in adopting, contributing or volunteering should contact BARL at601-757-4367 or Donations are tax deductible and may be mailed to BARL, P.O. Box 3477, Brookhaven, MS 39603.

BARL pets also will be at BarkFest.