San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Dog Day Afternoon

CaniFest draws thousands of dog lovers

Everybody loves dogs. Everybody loves music. Put the two together, and what do you get? CaniFest 2014.

The inaugural day-long music festival took place in Lourdes Park, San Pedro, where tents (“pup-tents”?) were erected, pet vendors set up shop, and dogs and their humans flooded the green. Numerous varieties of canis familiar were on display, from giant fluffy dogs to shivering chihuahuas to poodles dressed in hoodies.

Organized by Ileana Echandi and Pablo Formal, the pair behind such large-scale parties as 2013’s Oktoberfest, CaniFest drew thousands of people last Saturday, especially during the sunny morning. Dogs mingled, walked a labyrinth and jumped through suspended tires. Vendors sold treats and toys, from fashionable outfits to “Doggles” (goggles for dogs).

Aside from the obvious draws, CaniFest was also designed to raise awareness for homeless dogs and pet adoption. On that front, CaniFest was a success: Concertgoers donated four tons of food and adopted 17 animals.

Contact Robert Isenberg at

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