The "Dog Days of Summer Dog Show" at Lake Shelbyville will celebrate its Silver Anniversary this year, when it is held on Saturday, July 6 at Forrest W. "Bo" Woods Campground near Sullivan, on Lake Shelbyville.
The annual U.S. Army Corps of Engineers event has moved this year. It normally is held at Coon Creek Campground, near Shelbyville. However, Coon Creek's amphitheater is not done being remodeled, so the event has moved to a different campground.
"People who come every year know its around the 4th of July Weekend," said Ashley Florey Natural Resources Specialist. "Hopefully, relocating it will not discourage people from coming. Being closer to Sullivan, maybe we will get more people from there, plus the regular participants."
Florey says there is normally about 30-50 participants in the show every year and anywhere from 75-110 people in the audience. I'd say there's probably around 10 entries in every category.
"It really depends on the weather," Florey said. "One year it literally was raining cats and dogs and we still had 40-50 people participate. It might be different if its crazy hot.
The "Dog Days of Summer" Dog Show does not rival the Westminster Kennel Club in any way shape or form.
"This is not high-end or professional," Florey said. "This is laid back and gives people who travel with their dogs a chance to be involved. It's great for the kids. People have a dog that can do a trick, until they get stage fright. It can be quite entertaining."
Florey said, some campers will see that its going on and will register at the last minute.
"We have a lot of local people from the area that participate, from Pana, Shelbyville, Mattoon, and Taylorville," she said. "We have some that have participated in the past. We will have some from the previous year or owners who have gotten a new dog will participate again."
Owners may enter multiple dogs in the show, but only one dog per owner is allowed in each category. Participants may enter their dogs in the following categories: Best Trick, Best Dressed, Smallest Dog, Biggest Dog, and Most Precious Puppy. There will be prizes awarded to the winners of each category.
All dogs must be kept on a leash no longer than six feet in length, while at the show, and in any recreation area at Lake Shelbyville. This leash regulation helps ensure the safety of both animals and people. Any dogs present must be up to date on all of their vaccines.
Once again, the location has changed from Coon Creek Campground, where it has been held in the past. It will be held at Forrest W. "Bo" Wood Campground Amphitheater. It is located at 1060 CR 1025 North, Sullivan, IL 61951.
From the south, travel north on Rt 32 from Windsor past the Sullivan Marina and then turn left past CMS Powersports and before Chip's Marine. From the west, travel east through Findlay on the Bruce-Findlay Road to Rt 32. Then go north on Rt 32 past the Sullivan Marina and then turn left past CMS Powersports and before Chip's Marine.
From the north, travel south on Rt 32 from Sullivan and turn right after Chip's Marine and before CMS Powersports. Follow the Corps road back to the campground amphitheater. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m., and the show begins at 6 p.m.
Dog Days of Summer Dog Show is a free event open to the public. For additional information, contact Lake Shelbyville Interpretive Services and Outreach at (217)774-3951 ext. 2.