Festival merges music with pets to benefit animal causes


By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer

Claudia Leon and her dog Luna pose for a memento portrait taken by Creations by Sea-Jay Photography.

Grafton – Pleasant late-summer weather Sept. 8 attracted throngs of animal and music lovers to the 21st annual Pet Rock Festival on the grounds of Wyman-Gordon in North Grafton. This marked the festival’s third year in North Grafton after previously taking place in Shrewsbury, Worcester and Sturbridge. Once again, proceeds go to New England animal welfare organizations.

The five-hour event balanced fun activities with education on animal issues. Representatives from numerous animal organizations provided information about their causes. Only vegetarian food was available.

Spotlighted on the music stage were the bands Niki Luparelli and the Honey Badgers, Hit the Bus, Gov’t Surplus and Belit. At the “animal action” stage, festival-goers enjoyed viewing a pet parade followed by an amateur dog show with medals, trophies and prizes awarded for best ears, sweetest face, vocal talent, “waggiest” tail and owner-dog lookalikes.

Meanwhile on the field, a K-9 demonstration was conducted by Massachusetts State Police Troopers, as well as multiple Frisbee-fetching presentations by Pups in the Air.

For more information about the Pet Rock Festival’s fundraising and animal welfare education efforts, visit petrockfest.org and facebook.com/petrockfest.

photos/Ed Karvoski Jr.

Deb Mardin’s tossed Frisbee is caught by Kenna during a Pups in the Air presentation.
David Garden of Shrewsbury sings lead vocals with the band Hit the Bus on the music stage.
State Troopers Norman Stanikmas and Kurt D’Angelo conduct a K-9 demonstration with Kody.
Wearing a leopard-skin print outfit accessorized with cat ears, Niki Luparelli sings with her band the Honey Bees.
Anne Steciw receives the Frisbee that she had tossed to Sunny during a Pups in the Air demonstration.