Dog Friendly Events

Lollypop Farm Barktober Fest – Walking and Running for the Animals

Harley and Charlie had so much fun at Lollypop Farm's Barktober Fest
Written by Kevin Sando

We’ve already shared with you why we think Lollypop Farm’s Barktober Fest is the most wonder-fall time of year! Well, this past weekend it was time for the big event: Harley, Charlie, (and the humans) could hardly wait!

Harley is excited to finally arrive at Lollypop Farm's Barktober Fest!

As we approached Lollypop, the boys’ tails started thumping, there were dogs EVERYWHERE! We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, pet lovers are some of our favorite people to be around and Barktober Fest is a happy, relaxing place to be! Simply knowing that someone really means it when they say “no big deal” in response to the smear of Golden slobber on their pants, is a good feeling. Surrounding yourself with pet-lovin people is just the best!  

Harley and Kevin registering for the Barktoberfest Pet Walk

Some of us (Harley & Kevin), did not pre-register, and had to do it once we arrived. Oh well, better late than never! After registering, picking up our swag-bags, and adorning our pretty pups with bandannas, it was time for the Pet Walk!! 

Charlie is happy as can be at Lollypop Farm's Barktoberfest

As we have shared before, one of the things that we LOVE about Lollypop is that it is such a staple in the community. People flock to Lollypop Farm for all sorts of reasons: training classes, field trips, adoption, camp/education programs, etc. When a community staple, like Lollypop Farm hosts an event, it’s kind of a big deal! There were so many people there and we got to meet all sorts of new friends (human and dog).

A panoramic view of Lollypop Farm's Barktober Fest 2014

Starting out on Lollypop Farm's Barktoberfest Pet Walk

Lots of dogs and their people lined up for the official kick-off. The Pet Walk wound through the grounds of Lollypop Farm: walking past the shelter, on to trails, through the farm, and back to the festival! Some dogs were dressed up…all dogs were having fun!

Harley and I on the Barktoberfest Pet Walk at Lollypop Farm

This pup still made the walk thanks to his disabled dog cart!

A physical disability isn’t going to slow this pup down!

Charlie watching the cows on the farm walk at Lollypop Farm

Charlie met some cows! 

Our Handsome Boy Harley enjoying himself at Lollypop Farm's Barktober Fest

Uh oh! Someone is coming back from the pet walk with a muddy dog!

A golden trap, marsh water was calling for this golden friend!!

After the Pet Walk we stopped and found a shady spot to rest and prepare for the Ruff Rampage 5k-Obstacle Course. The boys provided some encouragement and their best advice before the race! Charlie suggested that I try climbing under things and doing his “wiggle butt” move if I got stuck. Harley suggested that I just enjoy the fresh air and walk around the obstacles…

Harley and Charlie are happy boys at Lollypop Farm's Barktober Fest

Giving mom some advice before the Ruff Rampage 5k at Lollypop Farm

Giving the Golden Boys a squeeze before the Ruff Rampage 5K

With a hug and kiss from my boys (all of them), it was time for the race!  While waiting for the official kick-off, I found Laura, my wonderful tour guide and Communications and Social Media Coordinator at Lollypop Farm. We both registered for one of the competitive heats and were slightly nervous that we would crash and burn on this course! Well friends, we made it! And…it was LOTS of fun!

Rachael climbing an inverted obstacle at Lollypop Farm's Ruff Rampage 5K

Rachael climbing overa wall obstacle at Lollypop Farm's Ruff Rampage 5K

There were all sorts of obstacles involving climbing, crawling, swinging, and carrying. To balance it all out, scenic trail runs and more camaraderie and encouragement from other participants and volunteers than I have ever experienced in a race. It was easy going too, if someone couldn’t do an obstacle, they just walked around it. Future Barktober Festers, don’t let the idea of the obstacle course freak you out! Take a risk, you will have lots of fun, even if you aren’t sure you can do it all!

Harley taking in the sights of Lollypop Farm's Barktober Fest

After the race, it was time to check out the rest of the festival. We stopped by some of our favorite vendors and got even more free stuff for the pups! Most exciting…another $5 off coupon to Pet$aver Superstore! 

The vendors at Lollypop Farm's Barktoberfest

Some of the vendors at Lollypop Farm's Barktober Fest event

With only moments until the start of the Hot Dog Eating Contest, we headed over to take a look. I think I know what Harley and Charlie will be signing up for next year!!

Watching the Hot Dog Eating Contest at Lollypop Farm's Barktober Fest

Next, we headed over to the Agility Fun Run area, where we saw Charlie’s trainer, Alyssa, leading some dogs through the course. Designed as a fun and safe introduction to agility, I knew I wanted to take Charlie for a walk through. 

The Dog Agility Course at Lollypop Farm's Barktober Fest

Charlie making his way through the dog tunnel obstacle on the agility course

Charlie taking a break halfway through the dog tunnel obstacle

I was uncertain if Harley would be up for it, but I decided with his extensive background in playground climbing, we would give it a go.

Harley attempting the A-Frame Dog Obstacle on Lollypop Farm's agility course

We were so proud of Harley for tackling the dog tunnel on the agility course!

Well….they did so good!! Charlie needed a bit of encouragement to get started. Harley on the other hand was a fearless pro! The only thing he couldn’t didn’t complete was the “A frame”. With more time and encouragement, I think he would have!! (Proud Momma Moment).

Before leaving, we walked around the park, met some friends, and got some belly rubs!

Spotting some fantastic dog wrinkles at Lollypop Farm's Barktober Fest

Charlie managing to get some belly rubs at Lollypop Farm's Barktober Fest

Charlie making friends at Lollypop Farm's Barktober Fest

Harley and Charlie met lots of Golden Retriever friends at Barktober Fest

Meeting some new Golden friends at Lollypop Farm's Barktober Fest

 Naturally, Charlie was drawn to the Kid Zone…so many little people to play with!

The Kid Zone at Lollypop Farm Barktober Fest

Harley was drawn to the beer garden and festival food!

Harley is full of big smiles at Lollypop Farm's Barktober Fest

There truly is something for everyone at Lollypop Farm Barktober Fest. If the events, contests, and fun activities aren’t enough to draw you in, the sweet faces of the animals that are supported by this wonderful event will be. Even with all of these fun events, our favorite part of Barktober Fest was simply being surrounded by a community, OUR community, of pet-lovers.

Lollypop has been such a tremendous resource to us over the years helping to make sure our adoptions of Max and Lucas (MyDogLikes – Kitties) were smooth, and helping our rescue pup Charlie learn the basics of obedience and begin work toward his Canine Good Citizen certificate!

Charlie sporting his new Barktoberfest bandana

Though we only met 25% of our fundraising goal, our blog is growing, and with that our influence. If nothing else, we want to be one more voice that is advocating for homeless and abused animals . Though we are only one voice, our mission is clear, we want to share the exciting products that are out there that support healthy living and we want pet-owners to know all about the pet friendly events, towns, and parks around us. Our hope is that experiencing how pets fit into an active lifestyle will lead to fewer surrenders and more responsible pet ownership.  

Harley and Charlie had so much fun at Lollypop Farm's Barktober Fest

Its too late to donate for Barktober Fest, but don’t let that stop you from reaching out to a local rescue or humane society and giving in any way that you can. The work that organizations such as the Rochester Humane Society performs is such an integral part of our communities. Time, love, and donation (monetary/supplies) are just some of the ways that you can support your local rescue organization!

Charlie is not ready to leave as we are headed out from Lollypop Farm's Barktoberfest!

Think we’ll be back next year, you betcha’!! Charlie was in no hurry to leave!!

About the author

Kevin Sando

Kevin is a mechanical engineer with a degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He has move than a decade experience in new product design, prototyping and early stage manufacturing. Pairing this background with his love of dogs, gives him a unique perspective to evaluate the design and execution of new and interesting pet products.


  • Thanks for coming to Barktober Fest with your pups and soaking in all of the fun we had planned for the day! Thanks also for your support of Lollypop Farm and the work we do for pets in need!

  • What a great article and such a perfect description of such a great event! I was there too and to spend the day surrounded by other dog lovers was…..well…….a PERFECT day! Thank you Lollypop for bringing all of us dog lovers together in one place every year! It’s definitely good for the soul as well as for ALL the animals! 🙂

    Kristin and “Peg”