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Charlotte, NC— Sign-up your dog for this year's Top Dog Photo Contest, part of the Pedigree® 2010 Bark in the Park Dog Festival presented by Food Lion on Saturday, April 24. Bark in the Park will be at Metrolina Expo, 7100 Statesville Road (site of the old fairgrounds). This festival is a signature event of Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department to promote dog parks.

Here's the poop:

TOP DOG PHOTO CONTEST: Dog owners entered 59 pet photos last year, and the public cast more than 27,700 votes. The winner was a Basset Hound named Brentson, featured in this year's logo! The entry period this year runs March 1(8am) - March 19(received by 5pm). Registration is preferred online or by mail. Entry fee is $12 with Visa and Mastercard accepted online. Registration, rules and entry instructions are available at or call 704 336-7853. Judges will select three finalist photos for cleverness and originality. Finalists will be posted on the Park and Rec website March 31(5pm), and the public can vote online April 1(8am) - April 16(5pm) for Top Dog. The winner will be announced April 19 on the website at 12Noon. The Top Dog and owner will receive a professional portrait by Tianna Fisher, a year's supply of dog food and be grand marshals of the Pooch Parade at Bark in the Park.

PEDIGREE® 2010 BARK IN PARK PRESENTED BY FOOD LION, APRIL 24, 10am-4pm: Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation invites "dogs and people they own" to join the fun again this year at Metrolina Expo, 7100 Statesville Road (off exit 16 of I-77 at Sunset Road). Bark in the Park drew an estimated 14,500 people last year, most with dogs. Metrolina Expo, the old fair grounds, has plenty of easy and FREE parking, and received many plaudits last year. It is a great location. Admission is FREE. This festival has become too large for a park!

So plan now to let your dog bring you. 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. Watch the Pooch Parade of Adoptable Dogs. Entertainment will be provided by Atlanta Dog Sports. Enjoy exhibits, dog products, prize drawings and more. Great dogs to see and greet! All dogs must enter on a leash, please. For details, check or call 311.

Park and Recreation seeks volunteers to help with Bark in the Park. To volunteer contact Lori Saylor at 704 336-5478 or