Tuscaloosa’s annual Bark in the Park will be held this weekend to raise money for the city’s first dog park.

On Saturday, the fifth annual Bark in the Park will be held at the Will May Dog Park, where festivities will last from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is no cost to attend.

The event, which is hosted by the Tuscaloosa Association of Realtors, has raised more than $50,000 for the park since the first Bark in the Park in 2014. This year, the group hopes to raise close to $15,000 for the park.

During the day, there will be a pet parade, where animals will be dressed up, as well as live music, dogs available for adoption and a photo booth.

"The park was to help create a nice greenspace in the Tuscaloosa community where families could enjoy time with their dogs," said Shay Lawson, chief executive officer of the Tuscaloosa Association of Realtors. "This is one of our largest fundraisers, and it’s a way for us to give back."

The 5-acre park was first opened in 2013 and is named in honor of Will May, a 13-year-old Tuscaloosa native who died in a hunting accident in 2013.

Becky Booker, public relations coordinator for Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority, said Will’s love of animals was a significant part of the park.

"PARA typically surveys the community from time to time, and dog trails were always at the top of the list," Booker said. "We were in talks with the city to provide funding for fencing to build the park when Will May (died)."

Booker said that all proceeds from Bark in the Park would go toward the upkeep of the park.

To learn more about giving to the park, visit www.tcpara.org and click "Donate."

 

Reach Drew Taylor at drew.taylor@tuscaloosanews.com or 205-722-0204.