BARKARITAVILLE A GREAT WAY TO RETURN TO NORMALCY 2021
BY WALTER J. SOMMERFELT
T he Medina Kennel Club has been a staple on the North- ern Ohio show scene for many years. I can remember attending shows at the Old Coon Club grounds, located off Route 42, way back in the 1970s. Over the years, the club has faced numerous changes in locations and dates. At one time, they were a part of the Great Christmas Classic shows held each December at the IX Center near Cleveland Hopkins Airport. Those shows had regular entries in the 2500-3500 dog range and were often listed among the top 10 shows in the country in terms of the number of entries. Following the American Kennel Club’s establishment of the AKC Championship show on the same weekend in December, the Cluster fell victim to lower numbers, and due to the high cost of the venue, the cluster was disbanded, forcing the clubs to find new dates and venues. The Medina Club moved to Tallmadge, Ohio, and chose a March date for their two days of shows. They also chose to trans- form their shows into a fun-filled, “end of winter looking forward to spring” weekend with the adoption of a Jimmy Buffet-Parrott Head-themed “Barkaritaville.” Barkaritaville is sort of a Midwest version of Woofstock, filled with music, costumes, plenty of Margaritas (they supply the frozen stuff, you supply the tequila), Judges and Exhibitors dressed in island attire, and many more numerous events and attractions that make the weekend a great show with a happy and relaxed atmosphere. Every March, as Northern Exhibitors started to look forward to the end of winter and the beginning of spring, they looked forward to the weekend and the chance to break out the island attire. The building was always filled with great dogs, and the Judges, Exhibi- tors, and everyone in attendance were treated to a great time. As we all know, COVID hit us in 2020 and many shows, including Barkaritaville, were unable to hold their events. When it appeared that the Medina Club might also not be able to hold shows this year, the club decided to be proactive and searched for an alter- native weekend and site to hold the 2021 version. Working with the AKC, Nina Fetter, and the Lima Kennel Club, the Median Kennel Club was able to secure a June date that had been previously held by the Echo Hills Kennel Club, which had decided to cease holding shows two years earlier. The Lima Kennel Club grounds would be used for 2021 and the Licking River Kennel Club also agreed to join in to make Barkaritaville a 4-day clustered June event.
152 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JULY 2021
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