Nottingham County Park will hold "Bark in the Park," a dog-friendly festival, on Oct. 5 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event promotes responsible dog ownership and brings together local and regional services and recreational opportunities for families with dogs.  

"Bark in the Park" is a 2013 American Kennel Club (AKC) Responsible Dog Ownership Day Event, which includes an Ask the Vet station, dog health and well-being lectures, and Canine Good Citizenship Testing by the AKC (for a $10 fee). 

"This event is a great way to celebrate dogs and promote the great outdoors, accompanied by a man's best friend," said Jay Gregg, superintendent of Nottingham County Park.  "It is just one of the many family activities that we have planned during Nottingham's 50th anniversary year."

Food and activity booths, skill demonstrators and educators will be on site, along with a new feature, whippet racing. Visitors will learn about the sport and watch as the dogs race after an artificial lure at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour. Additional demonstrations include puppy raising, search and rescue, obedience and agility.

A selection of crafts and dog products will be available, as will face painting and family portraits taken with your dog. The event also includes a ranger-led hike through the park's backcountry.

Nottingham County Park offers trails, and a backcountry and Serpentine Barrens that are dedicated as a National Natural Landmark.

Visitors are asked to keep dogs on a six-foot leash at all times, have current rabies vaccinations for their dogs, and properly dispose of all dog waste.  Bags will be distributed at the entrance gate, and waste and water stations will be available throughout the event area.

There is a $5 parking fee, but admission to the event is free.  Nottingham County Park is six miles south of Oxford, off Route 1, just above the Maryland state line. For more information, call 610-932-2589.