The temperature is rising, flowers and trees are blooming, and Fido is ready to come out of his winter slumber. Spring is in the air, and that means we can say goodbye to Old Man Winter and focus on the exciting festivals and events lined up in the coming months. From hippies to hot air balloons, we think you and your pup will dig these eight dog-friendly spring festivals.
Posted by Lauren Barker
Freedom First St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Shamrock Festival
Don’t let Fido get pinched for not wearing green! Dress him up before celebrating at Freedom First St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Shamrock Festival. The Corned Beef & Co. Celtic Celebration will kick off the day, followed by Martin’s Shamrockin’ Street Party and the Shamrock Hill 5K and 1-mile race. Kids of all ages will enjoy inflatables, games and face-painting at the Freedom First Kid Zone, and four-legged festival-goers can meet new friends and receive pets instead of pinches. Freedom First St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Shamrock Festival will be held March 14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in downtown Roanoke, VA. Admission is free. The parade begins at 11 a.m. If you can’t make this event, check out our pet-friendly guide to the most famous St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the world.
After the festivities, keep the “pawty” going with a stay at the nearby, pet-friendly Home2 Suites by Hilton Roanoke.
Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest
You won’t believe your eyes and Fido won’t believe his nose at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest. See the beauty and smell the fragrances as you stroll with your dog through 40 acres of flowers and vineyards against a backdrop of beautiful mountain views. Stop in the tasting room to sample wine from estate-grown grapes, and bring a picnic lunch or purchase food on site. On weekends, you’ll find demonstrations, a craft marketplace and additional kids’ activities like jump tents, zip lines and pony rides. Don’t let Fido miss his opportunity for a picture with Tulip the Cow, who will be wandering throughout the festival. The Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival will take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends from March 20 through May 3 at Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Woodburn, OR. Admission starts at $5 per person.
Plan to visit a couple of days and book your stay at La Quinta Inn & Suites Woodburn, where two pets of any size are welcome for no additional fee.
Coral Springs Festival of the Arts
Get ready for a weekend of arts, culture and entertainment with Fido at Coral Springs Festival of the Arts. This two-day event will highlight the works of more than 175 artisans and crafters. Explore the shops and restaurants of The Walk while you enjoy music, performing arts and the flowers of Gardenfest, one of the featured exhibits. Your pup might even get to do some arts and crafts of his own! Coral Springs Festival of the Arts will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 21 and 22 at The Walk of Coral Springs. Donations are accepted for admission.
National Cherry Blossom Festival
The organizers of the National Cherry Blossom Festival take pet-friendly up a notch. They’ve teamed with Mars Petcare and the Better Cities for Pets program to provide pet comfort services throughout the event. Hydration stations, shade areas, and pet relief stations with waste bags will be set up, and treats will be available at various locations. Bring the whole family to enjoy the Blossom Kite Festival and Petalpalooza, and take your pup for a walk around the Tidal Basin Loop Trail to see the dazzling pink blossoms. The National Cherry Blossom Festival will be held March 20 through April 12 throughout Washington, D.C. The event is free to attend, however some activities might charge admission.
With so much to do and see, you’ll want to stay a few days. Book a room at the nearby Kimpton George Hotel, where your pooch will be pampered with treats, a dog bed and bowls.
Grab your furry flower child and head to Hippie Fest, a grassroots festival for free spirits on two legs and four. Check out the vintage hippie car show, listen to groovy bands and shop from bohemian vendors. You even can create your own tie-dye, walk the giant bubble garden and view cirque performers. There will be food and fun for everyone, including a kid zone for tiny peace lovers. Dig out Fido’s bell-bottoms and peasant blouses. All dogs are welcome IF dressed as a hippie! Hippie Fest will be held from noon until 7 p.m. on April 18 and 19 at the Historic Columbia Speedway in Cayce, SC. Admission is $10 for one day or $15 for both.
Spend the full weekend at Hippie Fest with a stay at the Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel.
Celebrate Fido’s love for the outdoors at Tuck Fest. This three-day event will feature competitions like trail running, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, obstacle races and much more. If you’d rather observe than compete, you and your pup can listen to live music, cheer on participants, and enjoy the food, beverages and activities at the U.S National Whitewater Center, which is home to more than 400 acres of woodlands along the Catawba River. Fido can join you on a hike, kayak or stand-up paddleboard between races. Tuck Fest will take place from open to close, April 24 through 26, at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Admission is free, but there are fees to participate in various activities and competitions.
After all that activity, Fido will need a little pampering. The Aloft Charlotte Uptown at the EpiCentre is happy to oblige with treats, a dog bed and bowls.
Annual Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival
While many eyes are on Washington, D.C.'s cherry blossoms, Cupertino, California, puts on a celebration of its own at the Annual Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival. The community honors its sister city relationship with Toyokawa, Japan, at this family- and pet-friendly event. Bring Fido to the amphitheater for Taiko drum groups, Japanese dancers, martial arts and musical performances. Wander through the lawn area of arts and crafts and check out Japanese cultural exhibits. Enjoy delicious Japanese food and drinks like sushi, gyoza and sake, as well as festival must-haves like cotton candy and lemonade. The Annual Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 25 and 26 at Memorial Park. Admission is free.
Book a room at Juniper Hotel in downtown Cupertino, where canine guests get treats, a bed, bowls and waste bags at check-in.
Houston Hot Air Balloon Festival & Polo Match
The Houston Hot Air Balloon Festival & Polo Match is the dog-friendly social event of spring. Put on Fido’s bowtie and join thousands of festival-goers for two days of hot air balloons, horses, helicopters, live music and more. Shop fashion vendors and stop by seafood tents to get your fill of tasty food and spirits. Let the little ones meet new friends in designated kid areas. Just make sure you don’t miss the heart-pounding Victory Cup polo match! The Houston Hot Air Balloon Festival and Polo Match will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, May 15 and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 16 at Brookshire Polo Club. Admission starts at $10.
Stay close to the action with a room at the pet-friendly Residence Inn by Marriott Houston Katy Mills. You and your pup can raise a pint to the winning Polo team at No Label Brewing Co., located near the hotel.
What dog-friendly festivals are you and Fido attending this spring? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!
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