Whatever the age or area of interest, anyone attending PetFest at the Avanti’s Dome in Pekin will be hard-pressed not to find an activity that intrigues them.
The fundraiser, sponsored by the Tazewell Animal Improvement of Life Society (TAiLS), is a pet-friendly, family-friendly event from noon to 7 p.m. on Oct. 21 at the Avanti’s Dome, 401 Griffin Ave., Pekin. Area children will have a face painting booth, a bounce house, a photo booth, and a variety of games to occupy them. Pet lovers can bring their own dogs to compete in canine games or watch dog agility demonstrations. Martial arts enthusiasts will have an opportunity to witness a demonstration by Kuk Sool Won of Pekin. Classic automobile aficionados will be able to walk through and appreciate a hot rod, antique car and motorcycle display.
“It’s free admission,” said TAiLS President Shannon Seiss. “All of our activities are ticket-based. We’re trying to keep everything very low cost, so everyone can have a good time without spending a lot of money. Tickets will be a dollar apiece, and everything we offer will take between one and five tickets.”
Other activities at PetFest will include local vendors of items and services, Avanti’s concession, a disk jockey and master of ceremonies, and live music by the Clinton, Iowa-based band The PeOple. All proceeds will go to TAiLS
“The majority of our budget at this time goes to Tazewell County Animal Control to supplement the extremely low medical budget they are allotted each year,” said Seiss. “Some of the money we raise will also go toward physical improvements to the shelter.”
One physical improvement that has already been made to TCAC with the help of TAiLS donations and volunteers is the shelter’s first open cat room, said Seiss. The room provides adult cats at the shelter a chance to get out of the cages, sit in the sun, play on the cat trees and interact with their feline colleagues.
This is the second year that TAiLS will host PetFest, having partnered with the Marquette Heights Police Department to sponsor last year’s event. Seiss estimated that last year’s PetFest raised between $1,000 and $1,500 for TAiLS. This year’s goal is more ambitious at $5,000.
Seiss said she believes that hosting this year’s event at the Avanti’s Dome will allow space for more activities, which in turn will bring in more potential donors and showcase adoptable pets to more potential families.
“Our number one goal is to increase the number of pet adoptions in Tazewell County,” she said. “At every event we possibly can, we bring our adoptable animals.”