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Now in its fifth year, the Fromm Petfest gives animal lovers a great excuse to spend some quality time outdoors, soaking up the September sun along the shore of Lake Michigan with their best (furry) friend.

Fromm Petfest 2017

Fromm Petfest 2017

Here’s why we can’t wait to attend:

1) Getting in and out of the festival – which takes place at the Henry Maier Festival Park – couldn’t be easier, or cheaper. There’s free parking on site, and free admission too. Plus, some of the vendors hand out product samples, meaning that you could actually walk away with more in your pockets than you came in with.

2) You can bring your own furry friend, and meet several thousand new ones. About 4,000 pets (and more than 10,000 people) attended the event last year. And organizers expect even more to come this year.

3) You can consider the on-site pet marketplace your one-stop shop for pet food, toys and delightfully campy canine and feline costumes. Which brings us to reason number four to attend the fest …

4) Dozens, if not hundreds, of the animals in attendance will be wearing costumes, which we presume means we’ll be able to see at least one weiner dog dressed like a hot dog. And there’ll be a contest to boot – the first place winner will receive a six-month supply of Fromm food and treats.

5) You can finally find out how athletic your dog really is, or isn’t, at the on-site agility and lure courses.

6) If your dog is more interested in eating and drinking – or sniffing other mutts’ butts – than athleticism, you can both still have fun at the festival’s pop-up beer garden and dog park. And you can make a pit stop at one of the food trucks parked along the festival grounds before heading home for the day too.

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7) There’s now a “Kitty City” on the event grounds, with vendors and education sessions geared entirely toward pet owners of the feline persuasion. We won’t judge you if you post a couple of #caturday pics while you’re there either.

8) Celebrity canines – like Noodles the Wonder Dog and Sailor the Poodle – will periodically take to the festival stage to perform tricks. In between, (human) musicians will serenade the crowd too.

9) Much of the money raised at the event goes toward local charities, like the Wisconsin Humane Society.

10) If you’ve been thinking about adopting a dog or cat, this is the place to do it. Dozens of local and regional rescue groups (Lost Dogs of Wisconsin, the Brew City Bully Club, the Urban Cat Coalition and Canine Cupids, to name a few) will be setting up booths at the festival. And many of them will be bringing adoptable pets along with them.

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