Winter Woofstock Barks Up the Right Tree
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Winter Woofstock Barks Up the Right Tree

Event of all things dog summons an enthusiastic crowd to the Direct Energy Centre.

Like any event devoted to the folly of fanaticism, Winter Woofstock isn’t really about the dogs. Sure, pooches are central to the twice-annual, two-day celebration of canine companionship that took place this weekend at the Direct Energy Centre, but when you get right down to the meat of the thing, no self-respecting dog would choose getting dressed to resemble a Christmas tree. No, it appears Winter Woofstock is actually about humans; specifically, crazy ones.

We kid. Sort of.

The truth is, Winter Woofstock is primarily an arena of commerce. Vendors crowd the floor with their novelty wares, peddling doggie chaise lounges and pet-sized attachment parenting slings to the sorts of heart-on-sleeve animal lovers not disinclined to give in. There seems to be an unspoken understanding among attendees: come for the goods, stay for the weiner dog races. It’s the kind of scene where $20 gets a person—rather, a dog—a photo with a skinny, disenchanted Santa while a family of chihuahuas dressed as Mario Bros. characters parade in and out of view.

Still, there’s something to be said for spectacle–and, when herding hundreds of people and their dogs together into one exhibition hall, a spectacle is bound to occur.