MARGATE – A brilliant fall weekend greeted thousands visitors and their pets at the Margate Business Association’s Fall Funfest by the Bay and the Steve & Cookies 10th annual Dog Show.
There was lots of sniffing going on Sunday, and except for a few loud barks, the pups played nicely during the dog show held in the parking lot at Steve & Cookies By the Bay restaurant. Dogs lined up to strut their stuff across the stage while a panel of judges conferred on the winners. Every dog owner had a story to tell about their pedigree and shelter dogs, some dressed to the nines in tutus and scarves.
Entry fees from the dog show benefit the Ocean City Humane Society and NJ Aid for Animals.
According to OCHS Executive Director Bill Hollingsworth, the funds are used to transport animals from crowded shelters for adoption at the no-kill Ocean City shelter. The society also provides medical services for the public at reasonable rates, he said.
“Cookie is a partner with us in networking and she’s involved in the community, which is important for shelters,” he said.
The society also provides educational programs and dog training, which are focused on pets being an important part of the community.
“People often get pets from shelters, but may need help with behavioral training,” Hollingsworth said.
On Sunday, all the dogs looked like they graduated behavioral classes with flying colors.
Jessica Englehart of Little Egg Harbor Soap Company vends at the Funfest every year.
“We have a great turnout and a great crowd, mostly because the weather is perfect,” she said, as customers sniffed the different scents of her vegan soap bars.
“It helps that the Eagles are playing Monday night, so a lot of people are coming out today,” she said.
Jack Griffith and his wife Gina of Egg Harbor Township agreed the vendors were very happy this year. Last year’s event was cancelled due to COVID-19, but this year things were quite different.
“The vendors are killing it,” Gina Griffith said. “It looks like people want to be outside enjoying the weather and spending their money.”
Joel Elfman of Longport and friends were there both days to enjoy some good eats. They rattled off what they had tasted – Waterdog, Greek salads, pulled pork sammies and a few adult beverages.
“We enjoy the food, the band and the weather,” Elfman said.