WoodRuff Bark, a signature event in downtown Atlanta’s Woodruff Park, began in 2017 as a Halloween pet parade and costume contest. For this year, the park is morphing this pup-centric event into one that is even truer to its downtown roots: Doggy Con.
WoodRuff Bark invites metro Atlantans and their four-legged friends for a morning of dog-friendly fun, featuring a pet parade, costume contest, doggy-centric vendors, prizes and much more. Doggy Con will be held at 91 Peachtree St. NW on Woodruff Park’s main lawn Aug. 18 from 9 a.m. to noon.
Doggy Con is inspired by Dragon Con, one of the world’s largest pop culture conventions that attracts thousands of attendees over Labor Day weekend. For many Atlantans, Dragon Con has become a holiday of its own, with eccentric costumes, a festive atmosphere and plenty of fandom.
The event will be held rain or shine. It will start at 9 a.m. with the bib pickup for the costume parade (walk-up registration also available). The parade begins at 10 a.m. and the prize ceremony is at 11 a.m.
The first 25 attendees to register will receive a special tote bag featuring the event illustration by Rachal Duggan. Prizes include two five-day passes to Dragon Con, plus goods from Big Daddy Biscuits, The Whole Dog Market and more. All participants will receive a free Woodruff Park and Dragon Con giveaway item.
Contest categories include Best in Show, Best Doggie/Owner “Con-bo” and Best Cosplay Costume.
In addition to being part of a dog costume parade, attendees will also enjoy pup products from these vendors: Ruff Day Bandanas, WildPic Art Publishing, Pop Paracording, Jazzy Pawz by Andrea, 8SweetTreats and King of Pups.
The event’s community partners are Atlanta Rescue Dog Café, LifeLine Animal Project and Dragon Con.
The costume contest judges are Karen Anderson of Tiny Doors ATL; Brandon Ley and Johnny Martinez, owners of Joystick Gamebar and Georgia Beer Garden; and Reuben the Batdog, a local Instagram celebrity dog.