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Charlotte, NC— Dog lovers may cast votes online April 2 through April 16 for “Top Dog” of the 2012 Pedigree® Bark in the Park Dog Festival presented by Food Lion. Judges have chosen three finalists in the Park and Recreation Top Dog Photo Contest part. The finalist candidates/are: Cooper (2-year old Boxer), McGrady (5-year old Australian Shepherd), and Nala (3-year old Blue Tick Walker mix). The winner will be announced April 23.

These three finalist photos were chosen for cleverness, appearance and originality by a panel of judges from 45 entries. The contest is part of the Pedigree® Bark in the Park Dog Festival presented by Food Lion on Saturday, April 28 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Historic Rural Hill. The location has plenty of space and free parking. Admission is FREE for dogs and people.

The Top Dog and his/her master will be the grand marshals of the Pooch Parade of Adoptable Dogs at this year’s Bark in the Park, receive a pet photo portrait by Tianna Fisher, a year’s supply of dog food, and be the poster dog for next year’s festival logo.

Pedigree® 2012 Bark in the Park Presented by Food Lion, April 28, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation invites “dogs and the people they own” to join the fun again this year at Rural Hill, 4431 Neck Rd (take exit 16B off I-77 north at Sunset Road; turn right at Beatties Ford Road and left onto Neck Road). Bark in the Park drew an estimated 15,500 people last year, most with dogs. Rural Hill has plenty of easy and FREE parking. It is a great location. Admission is FREE. This festival has become too large for a park!

Enter dog contests like Best Costume, Best Bark, Largest Dog, Smallest Dog, Best Trick, Throw and Catch, and Disc Long-Shot Catch. Register for these events at the festival. Enjoy exhibits, dog products, prize drawings, musical entertainment and more. Great dogs to see and greet! All dogs must enter on a leash, please.

Vendors/Sponsors: For information on becoming a vendor or Sponsor at Bark in the Park, please click here.