Organizers of Oxford Dog Days did not officially announce it — and they haven’t returned the Valley Indy’s phone calls — but the Board of Selectmen made it clear Wednesday there will be no “Dog Days of Oxford” this year.
The popular event, which draws dog enthusiasts together in a fundraiser for the local animal shelter, will be replaced by several other fundraising events, including a rabies clinic and a tag sale. The Board of Selectmen gave the approval for those alternate events during a meeting Wednesday night at Town Hall.
First Selectwoman Mary Ann Drayton-Rogers said they the Oxford Dog Days organizers could not muster enough volunteers.
The event usually took place in September.
“They didn’t believe they could pull it off this year,” Drayton-Rogers said.
It could return next year, she said.
“They want to run it out to next year and run it as successfully as in the past,” she said.
The tag sale is tentatively scheduled to take place June 11, in the large parking lot adjacent to the Oxford Center School, which is a neighbor to the animal shelter. Details are still being worked out.
A rabies clinic at the animal shelter is scheduled for May 15 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
There have also been smaller fundraisers, like a raffle for dog and cat supply baskets, Drayton-Rogers said.
It marks the first time the town has not had a Dog Days of Oxford event since it began in 1999.
At the 11th annual event last year, there were more than 100 vendors selling jewelry, home-made soaps, pet supplies, hand bags, T-shirts, paintings, flowers, kitchen supplies, books, wood furniture and many crafts.
Also last year, there were 11 separate dog contests in fun categories like “Best Kisser,” “Most Glamorous,” “Most Vocal” and “Best Costume.” Ribbons were awarded to all participants.
There was also a home show, and demonstrations by dance, cheerleading and karate groups. There were expositions in obedience and search and rescue throughout the day.
There was also disc jockey entertainment, raffles, and children’s activities throughout the day.
It is an event that has grown in popularity over the years and has become a staple of Oxford’s cultural life, members of the Board of Selectmen said.
“I am sorry to see it is not going to happen this year,” Selectman David Yish said.