City holding Fall Fling, Bark in the Park

Mickey, Rhonda Stallings' dog, runs through a course during the 2010 Bark in the Park. The city will hold its fifth-annual Bark in the Park Oct. 1 at Veterans Park. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Alabaster Parks and Recreation department will begin a full weekend of events Sept. 30, as the city is set to host its annual Fall Fling and Bark in the Park events at Veterans Park.

Each year, the city holds a day of fun and activities for children with disabilities during the Fall Fling event. This year’s Fall Fling will begin at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 30 at Veterans Park, and will run until noon.

“We partner with the school system to host a variety of events for kids with disabilities,” said Alabaster Senior Center and Therapeutic Manager Alicia Walters, noting the city is expecting about 150 kids this year.

The event will feature activities such as drumming, inflatable games, Zumba dancing, fishing and face painting. The Kona Ice company will also be at the park serving frozen treats.

Alabaster will then kick off a new month Oct. 1 by hosting its fifth-annual Bark in the Park at Veterans Park.

The event is free, but volunteers will be accepting donations to benefit the Shelby County Humane Society, said Alabaster Parks and Recreation Director Ricky Nance.

“The city approached the Humane Society in 2007 to see if they would partner with us to hold an event for dogs,” Nance said. “We had a huge crowd that first year, and it seems to grow every year.”

This year’s Bark in the Park will feature 28 vendors, which Nance said was the most the event has ever seen.

At 9 a.m., event organizers will open registration for the 1-mile Mutt Strut. At 9:30 a.m., the Birmingham Bandits will perform at 9:30 a.m. and the Bama Air Dogs will perform at 10 a.m.

The event will feature a vaccine clinic from 10 a.m.-noon, another performance by the Birmingham Bandits at 10:30 a.m and 1 p.m., and canine contests at 11 a.m. The Mutt Strut will begin at 11:30 a.m., the Bama Air Dogs will perform at noon and 1:30 p.m. and small dog races will begin at 12:30 p.m.

“All in all, we’ve got a great day planned,” Nance said. “It’s been a good partnership with the Humane Society.”