Celebrate Dog Days of Summer in downtown Springfield

Free event offers family fun, benefits businesses.

The Downtown DORA Night Series is going to the dogs on Thursday.

Dog Days of Summer invites four-legged friends and their owners to celebrate National Dog Day with canine-related activities and products in downtown Springfield, 5-8 p.m. The free event is sponsored by the Greater Springfield Partnership (GSP) and Visit Greater Springfield.

There will be photo opportunities for dogs through Balloon Dog Events, the Wags n Wiggles Kennel dog obstacle course, live music by Jacob and Harmony and discounts and specials from downtown merchants and restaurants. The SPCA will offer pet adoption opportunities, Anything’s Pawsible Animal Resource Center will have pet information, while The Abilities Connection (TAC) will display its PetAbilities pet-product line for sale.

Following popular themed nights that have so far included a fireworks viewing party and shark week, man’s best friend became another reason to bring visitors downtown. Dog Days was meant to introduce the DORA series a year ago, but was canceled due to pandemic safety precautions, but GSP downtown events coordinator John Kelly knew every dog has its day.

“This event was actually created because of COVID last year. But after talking with the health department, we weren’t comfortable having it, but we’re glad to bring it back,” said Kelly. “The other part is to introduce more programming other than First Fridays. And the downtown businesses love it.”

Another part of the idea is to bring awareness to DORA itself, while promoting downtown businesses and making the city more of a destination. As well as exposing local merchants, it’s a chance to partner with other area businesses and agencies such as the pet organizations and TAC, who visitors may not be aware of.

DORA, or Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area, allows adults of drinking age to carry out an adult beverage within a mapped downtown area without having to stay in one location. The Visit Greater Springfield web page has the entire DORA district map available for reference.

“With DORA, families can utilize the time by going to places like National Road Commons Park and visit shops rather than being confined to one place,” said Kelly.

Kelly said monthly DORA events will continue into the fall.


What: DORA Night Series – Dog Days of August

Where: Downtown Springfield

When: 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 26

Admission: Free

More info: www.facebook.com/SpringfieldOhioCVB

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