Doggie pride was in full bloom Sunday at the fourth annual CS Barks Festival in Carol Stream.
The all-day festival, run by the Carol Stream Park District, brought more than 80 dog-related vendors and rescue organizations to the Carol Stream Town Center at Gary Avenue and Lies Road. Visitors also were treated to a full slate of canine-friendly entertainment, from sheepherding demonstrations to a costume contest to performances by the Windy City K9 Disc Dogs.
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"It feels a little like Lollapalooza for dogs," said Wheaton resident Craig Norbert, who was there with Snyder, his 6-year-old Beagle.
Some fest-goers watched the Border Collies from Heatherhope Farm in Sycamore guide a group of sheep around a fenced-in area. The dogs, responding to voice and whistle commands, kept the sheep walking in a tight group.
Others visited the many rescue organizations on hand. Kim Seifrid, of Batavia, was there representing True Hearts of Rottweiler Rescue, a not-for-profit group based in Round Lake Beach. The organization matches Rottweilers, many of them abused or neglected, with suitable owners.
"It's such a misunderstood breed," Seifrid said. "People think they're vicious or mean, but they're very loving and attentive. Unfortunately, they've also been subjected to a lot of mistreatment."
This was the first year the event was held at Carol Stream Town Center, and organizers said the turnout exceeded expectations. The site's parking lot filled up an hour after the fest opened, and dozens of visitors -- both the two-legged and four-legged varieties -- streamed down Lies Road on foot to get to the event.
"We predicted that a couple thousand would attend, but I think we have a good chance of beating that," said Kelly Carbon, the park district's community relations specialist. "This event has become a tradition for many families. And really, how many times are people encouraged to bring their dogs to something?"
Streamwood resident Rita Barr appreciated the chance. She brought her 10-year-old Boxer, Zoie, to the festival.
"We'd gone to a similar event at Cantigny, and then we heard about this one," she said. "It's just great to have something like this to bring her to."