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Charlotte, NC – The 2010 Pedigree® Bark in the Park Dog Festival presented by Food Lion invites "dogs and the people they own" to join the fun again this year at Metrolina Expo, 7100 Statesville Road. The festival will be Saturday, April 24, 10am- 4pm. Now in its sixth year, Bark in the Park is Charlotte's premier dog festival, a signature event of Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department. Admission and parking are FREE.

Bark in the Park drew more than 14,500 people last year, most with dogs. This event became too big for a park. Metrolina Expo has plenty of easy, free parking and ample grassy space in the old fairgrounds. The site drew many plaudits from those who attended last year. Metrolina Expo is off Statesville Road, near Exit 16/Sunset Road off I-77. So let your dog bring you!

Dogs participate in contests like Best Costume, Best Bark, Largest Dog, Smallest Dog, Best Trick., Disc Throw and Catch, and Disc Long-Shot Catch. Register for these events at the festival. Watch the Pooch Parade of Adoptable Dogs and entertainment provided by Atlanta Dog Sports. Enjoy exhibits, dog products, prize drawings and more. Many great dogs to see and greet! All dogs must enter on a leash. For more information, check or call 311.

Don’t forget Park and Rec’s Top Dog Photo Contest. This year the entry period is March 1-March 19 (received by 5pm). Registration is preferred online or by mail. Entry fee: $12, Visa and MasterCard accepted online. Registration, rules and instructions available at or call 704 336-7853. Judges select three finalist photos for cleverness and originality. Finalists will be posted on the Park and Recreation 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 12 noon. The Top Dog and owner will receive a professional portrait by Tiana Fisher, a year’s supply of dog food, and will be grand marshals of the Pooch Parade of Adoptable Dogs at Bark in the Park.

This event promotes Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation’s five dog parks (with a sixth coming later this spring at Shuffletown Park). These are popular places for dogs to run free and frolic in fenced meadows and woodlands. Dog parks are FREE for public use. All dogs must be vaccinated as required by law.

Park and Recreation seeks volunteer help for Bark in the Park. If interested, contact Lori Saylor at 704-336-5478 or