BANGOR, Maine — A dog park that for more than a year and a half has been little more than an idea for an empty plot of land on the shore of the Penobscot River finally is taking a first step with a fundraiser on Sunday, Aug. 21.
The event, scheduled from 2 to 8 p.m. in the grassy area behind Captain Nick’s restaurant on Union Street, features lobster dinners, a pie-eating contest, a bluegrass band performance, vendor booths, a doggy fashion show and more.
“This is the kickoff, the beginning of the effort to get this park finished,” said Jeff Brawn of the benefit committee.
After a series of fundraisers, the Bangor dog park group hopes to raise around $50,000 to build the park on a plot of land between Geaghan’s Pub and the river. Those funds will be used to grade the land, install lights, construct a gazebo, build benches and picnic tables and install about $16,000 in fencing, according to Dawnette Carver of Glenburn, the group’s administrator.
“We can probably open in the spring — that’s the goal,” Carver said.
The project had been on the back burner for more than a year after Bangor Area Regional K-9s, or BARK, gained approval to go ahead with the project in late 2009. The city donated the parcel of land to the group, with the caveat that the city could develop the land in the future. BARK’s efforts tapered off after the project reached the fundraising point, according to Carver.
A new dog park group formed to get the fundraising effort off the ground again and make the money to complete the project, she said.
This is the first in a series of events to reach that goal.
“It’s a great opportunity, and it’s been a long time coming,” Carver said. “We’re determined to make it happen.”
Lobster dinners include sides and drinks and cost $15 for a one-lobster dinner, $25 for two lobsters and $35 for three, according to Brawn.
The group is raising all its own funds and accepts donations, Carver said.
She said the construction crew working on I-395 near the future site of the dog park agreed to do some landscaping work or make a donation in exchange for permission to park their equipment on the land during construction.
Fundraiser attendees are encouraged to bring their dogs.
“We put a big invitation out there to everyone,” Carver said. “It’s going to be a great event.”
More fundraising events are in the planning stages — including a bingo event at the Bangor Elks Club sometime in the fall, Carver said.