April 19, 2007

CONTACT: Tom Plante, 908-527-4746
Karen Inzillo, 908-789-3670 ext. 7911


Enjoy a Parade of Pets at Trailside’s 28th Annual Pet Fair

Freeholder Chairwoman Bette Jane Kowalski holds “Honey Bunny,” a spokes-dog for the St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center at Trailside Nature and Science Center’s Pet Fair last year. Also pictured are Holly Rift and “Bunker” (left) and Charlene Rieger-Velli and Pickles (right) also of the St. Hubert’s group. This year the Pet Fair will be held on Sunday, May 6 from Noon – 5 p.m. Admission to the Fair is $3 per person, ages six (6) and under are free. Highlights of this year’s event include “Felicity” the pot-bellied pig and her trainer Kathy Sperduto, New Jersey Sled Dogs, Flyball and Frisbee demonstrations, and the Watchung Stable gymkhana horseback riding performance. Various adoption agencies and organizations with pet paraphernalia will be on hand throughout the afternoon. Visitors will enjoy the free face painting and petting zoo.
pet fair
For additional information about the Pet Fair, please call 908-789-3670 or visit us on the web at Trailside Nature and Science Center is located at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside and is a service of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

Mountainside, NJ – The 28th Annual Pet Fair, presented by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, will be held at Trailside Nature and Science Center in Mountainside on Sunday, May 6th from 12 noon until 5:00 p.m.

“The afternoon promises to bring fun and entertainment for children, adults and pets alike,” said Freeholder Chairwoman Bette Jane Kowalski, liaison to the Union County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

Back by popular demand will be Kathy Murarik of the New Jersey Sled Dog Club to demonstrate the working skills of her sled dog team. She and her team will “pull” off the afternoon’s first demonstration at 12:30 p.m. Visitors can watch as her dogs are hitched to a sled specially modified for New Jersey terrain.

Highlighting the afternoon’s featured presentations is Kathy Sperduto, a professional animal trainer from Hackettstown, New Jersey. Kathy will explain the animal training process and demonstrate the tricks her pot-bellied pig “Felicity” can perform at 1:00 p.m. Laugh out loud as Felicity plays fetch, gives kisses and waves to the crowd. Visitors can meet Felicity and her non-performing pig friend “Spanky” throughout the afternoon.

At 1:45 and 3:15 p.m. demonstrations will be given by the Jersey Devil Dogs Flyball Club and the Yankee Flyers Dog & Disc Club. Visitors can enjoy the amazing talents of these dogs and discover how they are trained for these acrobatic canine sports. Throughout the afternoon, members of the flyball and disc clubs will explain how you and your dog can take part in this sport. Audience participation is encouraged!

Learn all about our feathered friends at 2:30 p.m. with Wings of Hope, a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding loving homes for birds in need. Different species of birds commonly kept as pets will be available for the public to meet. Representatives of this organization will discuss the care and attention these lovable creatures require.

Rachel Baris, of the Watchung Stable, will conclude the afternoon demonstrations at 4:00 p.m. with a narration of various games played on horseback. Riders and their horses are sure to entertain the audience with a variety of relay races designed to challenge the participants and their equine partners. Cheer on your favorite team as they play games, navigate obstacle courses or take part in relay races.

Join a Trailside park naturalist for a guided walk with your dog on one of our many hiking trails. Learn trail etiquette and discover springtime in the woods. The hike, scheduled to depart from the museum at 3:30 p.m., is expected to last approximately 30 minutes.

A variety of organizations dedicated to educating the public about pets and pet products will be on hand throughout the afternoon. Visitors may purchase bandanas, bones or other pet paraphernalia while enjoying the afternoon festivities. Visit the Nifty Heelers 4H Seeing Eye Puppy Club table to learn how Seeing Eye dogs are trained. Learn about small animals commonly kept as pets with the Mighty Cavits and Rodents 4-H club. Meet some animals available for adoption and have all your pet heath questions answered by Dr. Markowitz of the Boulevard Veterinary Clinic.

Admission to the Pet Fair, which includes free face painting and a free petting zoo, is $3 per person, with children ages 6 and under admitted free of charge. For an additional fee, children can win prizes by playing games such as “Hole in One,” “Bean Bag Toss” and “Basketball Throw.” Patrons can also visit Noah’s Ark Stuffed Animal Workshop to build their own stuffed pet to take home. Refreshments will be available throughout the afternoon.

The newly renovated visitor center with its state-of-the-art exhibits will be open for visitors during the Fair. Visitors can investigate the live fish, turtles and frogs in the wetland habitat on the lower level of the facility or peer into a simulated nest of a red-shouldered hawk from the upper level. Numerous “please touch me” exhibits provide an educational experience for adults and children alike. Don’t forget to visit the Night Theater, a seven-minute, multi-sensory experience that investigates the world of nocturnal animals!

Trailside Nature and Science Center is located at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside and is a service of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. For further information on this event or upcoming spring and summer programs at Trailside, please call 908-789-3670 or visit us on the web at