This weekend, Grass Creek Park played host to Kingston’s annual sheep dog trials, which saw people from across the world filing through the park’s front gates to watch various canine events.
“This is the largest amount of people we have seen in recent memory,” said Emily Hatchette, assistant supervisor of special events for the City of Kingston.
Many festivals have rides to appeal to humans, but one vendor at Grass Creek capitalized on the increased pedestrian traffic by designing an attraction entirely for dogs.
“I don’t look at the people lined up at my lure course. I just look at the dogs, and all of sudden there are 25 dogs lined up,” said Mark Gross, owner of Dog Lovers Days lure course.
Gross is not alone in experiencing an influx of customers. Several other vendors are reaping the benefits of a large audience thanks to this year’s sheep dog trials.
Carolyn M. Barnett runs a small boutique that sells scarves, vests and other knitted items. She says the demand for her goods has been overwhelming. The same goes for many other vendors who have seen a steady increase in foot traffic at the event year after year.
“I started coming here years ago, and I can’t get over the new faces I see each year lining up to buy my hats. This is a weekend I circle on my calendar,” said John Keating, owner of Australian Shop.
Jo-Jo’s Chip Wagon has been in business for under a year. For the woman handling the fryer, the long lineups have been an amazing experience.
“I went from a hot dog cart to a full-sized food truck, and now I have lineups down the street! This weekend has been wonderful,” said Joanne Seward, owner of Jo-Jo’s Chip Wagon.
The exact attendance numbers will not be released until late August, says the City of Kingston, but they are estimating that more than 7,000 people walked through the gates this weekend.