Owners, pets enjoy 5th annual Barktoberfest in Helena

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA – There was plenty of wagging and a whole lot of good boys and girls at the Helena Amphitheater the afternoon of Sunday, Oct. 20, as Two-by-Two Animal Rescue hosted the fifth annual Barktoberfest.

Each year, Barktoberfest has grown in popularity and this year was no different, as thousands of people and their furry friends made their way to Helena for an afternoon of fun.

Jennifer Nolan, who has volunteered at Two-by-Two Animal Rescue for eight years and serves as one of the festival directors, was in the middle of the festival assisting vendors and helping other volunteers.

“This year we have more than 100 volunteers and we had more than 60 vendors sign up,” Nolan said. “We’ve already had about 900 people come through so far.”

The 900 people who went through was an estimate just one hour into the event, which featured specialized dog vendors, food trucks, a kid’s zone with bouncy houses, face painting, pony rides, a silent auction, a bake sale, door prizes, pumpkin painting and more.

For pets, there was an off-leash dog park for running and playing, low-cost vaccines and microchips, a gift shop with Two by Two Rescue gear, a photo booth and an adoption center where several dogs were available for adoption.

Two-by-Two Animal Rescue is a 501 C (3) no-profit, no-kill organization. Two-by-Two began in 2002 when Sonya King began feeding strays in Old Town Helena, according to their website.

She noticed another concerned citizen had been leaving food for them too and placed a note in a bowl. The note was found. They met and combined their efforts to rescue the many stray dogs dodging traffic.

For more information on Two-by-Two Animal Rescue, visit Facebook.com/twobytworescue/.