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The History of Bark in the Park in Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay is home to a unique event that has been taking place each year since 2006. This event is known as Bark in the Park, and it celebrates our furry friends with plenty of activities, vendors, and giveaways. But what exactly is Bark in the Park, and how did it come to be?

dog playing in the park

Bark in the Park is an annual event organized by Metropolitan Ministries that brings animals and their lovers together in the same place. The event typically takes place in spring at the Park, 101 E. Kennedy Blvd., in downtown Tampa. It is free to attend, but all dogs must be on a leash and have a current rabies vaccination.

The festival features activities like dog shows, agility courses, pet interactions and demonstrations. Pet vendors from all around Central Florida come, giving out free samples, selling pet-related products, and exhibiting adoptable animals from various local animal shelters and rescue groups. There's also live music, food and drinks and a variety of fun activities for all ages, such as face painting, temporary tattoos, and more.

Bark in the Park started in 2006 when Metropolitan Ministries Founder Bob Corso and his wife Mary realized that their dog-friendly ministry had a lot to offer the local pet-owning community. They wanted to organize an event that would show how retail therapy, networking and fellowship among animal lovers can help save lives. From then on, Bark in the Park has become an annual event that has been steadily growing in size throughout the years as more and more Tampa Bay residents join in.

Bark in the Park is a great way to give back and make a difference in the lives of animals in need. The event has not only helped raise awareness and money for Metropolitan Ministries and its programs, but it has also given pet owners and animal lovers the opportunity to socialize and share ideas with each other. From sharing pet stories to exchanging tips on how to give our furry friends the best care, Bark in the Park has become a place to celebrate the bond between pets and their owners.

Bark in the Park is an amazing event that celebrates our furry family members every year in Tampa Bay. The event has been going strong since 2006, bringing Tampa Bay residents together for a fun-filled day of activities, products, and pet adoptions. It's an amazing opportunity for pet owners and animal lovers to get together and give back to the community. So if you're in the Tampa Bay area, make sure to mark your calendar and join the fun at Bark in the Park!

- Vivian van Zyl

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