Barktoberfest combines beer festival with dog adoption expo in Stillwater

Matt Sullins loves dogs, and as the sales and marketing director for Iron Monk, presumably beer as well.

At the end of the month, he’s hoping a large part of the community does, too, and will come out to see what they have brewing at Block 34. Already a fixture of philanthropy with the Kegs for Community project that brews special beers for area nonprofits, the same minds are introducing Barktoberfest to downtown Stillwater on Sept. 29.

“What Barktoberfest is, is a free, all ages, animal expo at Block 34 with an accompanying Oklahoma beer and wine festival with all proceeds going to the Humane Society of Stillwater,” Sullins said. “We’re going to have live music – I’ve got Morgan, Chloe-Beth and Giakob Lee, all popular local musicians performing. I’ve got food trucks that are going to be there. I’ve got several different demonstrations from vets and different companies set up. We’re going to have adoptable dogs on site, so people will be able to come and play with dogs and hopefully add to their home.”

The beer festival part will be across the street from Block 34 in the Community Center parking lot. That will require tickets, which runs from VIP packages, to simple entrance fees. Any and all are free to check out the animal expo.

“The whole part on Block 34 is going to be geared toward families looking for pets, people who want to adopt a dog, and people who just love dogs in general,” Sullins said. “Originally, because I’m in the beer business, it was just going to be a beer and wine festival with adoptable dogs on site. The more I though about it – I’ve done some adoption events and bars – the issue we have is that families want to adopt dogs, not just adults. People want to bring their kids. I want to adopt out as many puppies and dogs as possible, so I don’t want to limit myself to just the 21- year-olds or people that aren’t going to be able to bring their family in.”

Sullins didn’t put limitations on the beer people will be drinking, either.

“It’s not just us,” Sullins said. “We’ll definitely be there in full force, but we’ve extended the invitation to several wineries around the state and the Craft Brewers Association of Oklahoma. My last count was 14 Oklahoma breweries coming, and at least one winery and one cider maker.”

Barktoberfest will run from noon to 4 p.m. Tickets for the beer and wine festival are available at at Barktoberfest2019, and more information can be found on the BarktoberfestStillwater Facebook Page.

“For just one day, if we could empty the shelter of dogs, that would be amazing. But really, if we can raise some money and people have a good time, we’re doing all right,” Sullins said. “I’m hopeful that it comes together the way it is in my head. We shoot really high, and even if it falls short we’re still pretty good.”

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