Author: Brandli, Darby

February 2012 President’s Message

Going to the Dogs

I know that some of you have heard that we are going to allow dogs at the Father’s Day Festival for the first time in about two decades. I know because I have heard from a few members who are shocked, aghast and simply horrified that we are going to be “over run” by four legged beasts. Rest easy friends, most of you probably will not even notice the dogs.

Dogs were allowed at the FDF for about the first twenty years. Dogs were “banned” after an incident (or so I hear) and for the most recent twenty years we hear from attendees that they really want to bring their dogs who travel with them in their RVs. We have had an annual discussion about dogs for the last decade and “almost” invited dogs to a special “dogs only area” a couple of years ago. This year we decided to have a PILOT program and allow dogs into the festival while making rules that ensure that there will be minimal impact to other festival attendees.

The Nevada County Fairgrounds allows dogs to camp with those in RVs during the year. The Fairgrounds has their own pet rules which we will follow: no dogs in the water ditch, no dogs in the Lake, owners are responsible for all doggie poo (my term) and dogs must be confined and not run free. We will also ban dogs from the Tent Camping Area near Gate 4 and of course ban dogs from the Festival Area/Concessions/Stages. Any dog owner who brings a “nuisance” dog will be warned and then asked to leave or kennel their pet. Most of the dogs we expect at our Festival are used to traveling with their owners in their RVs and those owners are well equipped to deal with their traveling companions.
My own dog will be staying at home because she would not have a good time confined all the time and the Grass Valley weather is usually warmer than the Bay Area temperature she is used to. I believe most dog owners will not want to be hampered by a pet during the festival. I cannot watch both a pet and a grandchild while tent camping.

We hope that you all are assured that we do not intend to go to the dogs this year. We do want to allow our loyal attendees who travel much of the year with their pets to choose to attend the festival. Please have an open mind about this Pilot Program and give us some feedback after the event.

Early Bird Tickets for Father’s Day (significantly discounted for members) are available through February 28th. In the last decade we have initiated many “new” things at the Festival which were controversial at the time but are now taken for granted. We now allow bicycles, we now sell beer and wine, we now have multiple stages….all those “introductions” had naysayers but turned out okay once implemented and, in fact, enhanced the festival going experience for a larger number of people. We hope to see all of you at our 37th Annual Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival next June.

Posted:  2/7/2012

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