By Gabrielle Russon | Kalamazoo Gazette
Photo: Kalamazoo Gazette File Photo.
KALAMAZOO — After a one-year absence, the United Kennel Club Premier Dog Show will return to Kalamazoo County this weekend.
The event isn’t a typical dog show, but features pups in weight pull competitions, terrier races and other physical challenges.
It is expected to draw about 7,000 dogs and 20,000 people from the United States and Canada, officials have said.
The Premier Dog Show will start Friday and will run through Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, at the Kalamazoo County Expo Center & Fairground, 2900 Lake St. The cost is $5 per car into the fairground each day, or $10 for the weekend.
Former Detroit Tigers pitcher Milt Wilcox, who helped lead the team to the 1984 World Series Championship, is expected to attend the show with his Ultimate Air Dogs team. Wilcox’s team of dogs is known for jumping from high distances off docks, according to a news release from the United Kennel Club.
For Kalamazoo County officials, the dog show coming back to Kalamazoo is a sign that their $3.75 million fairground expansion is paying off.
The dog show moved to Richmond, Ind., last year because it needed more space for the dogs.
Kalamazoo County Parks Director David Rachowicz has said the 35,000-square-foot expansion to the expo center and other renovations to the grounds are intended to retain current events and attract new shows to Kalamazoo County.
Even though the grounds will be a construction site until the project is completed at the end of September, Rachowicz has said the site can still hold events. It just takes a little extra maneuvering, he said.
For more information about the United Kennel Club and show, call the UKC at 269-343-9020 or visit www.ukcdogs.com.