Rome is going to the Schnauzers...or really, they’re coming to us.
The marketing manager of the first Schnauzerfest, Hugh Tyner, said he’s already got more than 650 dogs registered for the Sept. 27-28 event.
That translates to between 1,000 and 1,300 people at this point and he’s getting more people signed up everyday.
“I really don’t know what’s going to happen,” Tyner told Rome merchants at the monthly Downtown Coffee Break hosted by Moe’s restaurant.
Actually, he’s got a pretty good idea as to what is going to happen during the two-day event. A Friday night meet and greet at Bridgepoint Plaza followed by an opportunity for owners and pets alike to stroll through downtown Rome will kick off the event.
Saturday festivities will be headquartered at the Forum River Center. There will be a parade from The Forum River Center up Broad Street and then out the riverwalk to Ridge Ferry Park.
Tyner said the parade will be led by the miniature schnauzers followed by the standard breed and then the giant breed.
Saturday afternoon, there will be agility contests inside the Forum River Center followed Saturday night by a Schnauzer Idol contest.
Apparently, the dogs like to sing, or maybe call it karaoke. Tyner said they love to mimic sirens or other loud sounds. People watching in the crowd will have an opportunity to choose the winner using an app on the smartphone.
At this point, Tyner said participants have registered from 44 states, Canada and the United Kingdom.
“We are so pumped and excited,” Tyner said.
Forum River Center marketing executive Thomas Kislat also briefed the merchants on events coming up at the arena, including a Mother’s Finest concert on Aug. 23. He said the dates for the Forum on Ice have locked in for Nov. 17 through Jan. 6.
The second edition of winter skating at the Forum will feature an ice slide with a 100-foot release where folks will have an opportunity to slide into the arena on an inner tube.
Moriah Medina with ComForCare Rome explained that a Dementia Friendly Initiative event will be held Sept. 13 at the Lawrence Plantation. People will be able to enjoy a dinner and cool off on floats in a pool while watching wide-screen movies.
Tickets are $45 for an individual, and $80 for a couple. Funds raised by the event will be contributed to Project Lifesaver to help buy tracking devices for dementia patients.