Westside Park Goes to the Dogs


Albert “Ray” Massey (Westside) Park (1001 NW 34th St.) is going to the dogs for a whole weekend of family fun! This year, the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department (PRCA) has partnered with Newberry Animal Hospital, other vendors and the Climb for Cancer Foundation to bring two dog-centered events together for Saturday, Oct. 20 and Sunday, Oct. 21. 

On Saturday, October 20th, from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. the weekend starts off with a doggone fun time at the H. Spurgeon Cherry (Westside) Pool for the K9 Splash Bash (previously named Drool & Ghoul).  “Newberry Animal Hospital is very excited to co-host this event in our community. We have invited some wonderful pet-related non-profits and businesses to help support the event this year’’, said Dr. Lance Baltzley.  Admission is $5 per dog with a rabies vaccination certificate; 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 around 12 p.m. with prizes in several categories. Event information and an opportunity to pre-register may be viewed at
On Sunday, Oct. 21, the hounds are released at the 2018 Halloweener Derby. The 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. The main activity features dachshunds running for the gold in the 4th Annual Halloweener Derby. Registration for the event ranges between $35 – 55 and dogs must have their rabies vaccination certificate too.  All proceeds benefit cancer patients receiving treatment at UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital. For more information on registration and sponsorship, visit
For media inquiries and interviews, please contact Billy Marcentel, recreation manager, at 352-393-8526 or For inquiries about the 2017 Halloweener Derby, please contact Ron Farb at 352-333-9663 or