Westside Park Goes to the Dogs Oct. 21-22


Albert “Ray” Massey (Westside) Park (1001 NW 34th St.) is going to the dogs for a whole weekend of family fun! The City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department (PRCA) has partnered with University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine (UFCVM) and Climb for Cancer Foundation to bring three dog-centered events together for Saturday, Oct. 21 and Sunday, Oct. 22.

On Saturday, Oct. 21, the weekend starts off on the right paw with the 36th Annual Dog Days Run, hosted by UFCVM. This event includes a 5K race, a one-mile “fun run” for dogs and their owners, a raffle and other contests. The 5K race starts at 8 a.m., with the “fun run” starting at 9 a.m. The event benefits the Josh and Friends Project, which helps bring animals to comfort hospitalized children. The race entry fee is $25. More information is available at

Then it’s a doggone fun time at the H. Spurgeon Cherry (Westside) Pool from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. for the Drool and Ghoul Howl-O-Ween Costume Contest and Pool Party. Admission is $5 per dog; people are free. This is the one day of the year that your canine pal can enjoy dogs-only swimming and fun activities all around the pool deck. A costume contest will take place at 12 p.m. with prizes in several categories. This year features prize baskets donated by Newberry Animal Hospital. Event information may be viewed at

Finally, on Sunday, Oct. 22, the hounds are released at the 2017 Halloweener Derby. Climb for Cancer Foundation presents this family FUNdraising event from 1-4 p.m. This dog and kid-friendly occasion features food, music and canine antics. This year features another pint-sized raced, the Running of the Chihuahuas. The main activity features dachshunds running for the gold in the 3rd Annual Halloweener Derby. All proceeds benefit cancer patients receiving treatment at UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital. For more information on registration and sponsorship, visit

Proof of rabies vaccination is required for entry to each event.

For media inquiries and interviews, please contact John Weber, interim recreation manager, at 352-393-8526 or

For inquiries about the 2017 Halloweener Derby, please contact Ron Farb at 352-333-9663 or

For interest in the Dog Days Run, please contact Andrea Nall at