Southern Community Park was full of live music and plenty of animals Saturday. The park hosted the the third annual Critter Carnival to raise awareness for animal rescue and rehabilitation organizations.
The Critter Carnival, previously called Furry Friends Festival, was founded by Paul Kerr and Kevin James. It was originally held at Shakori Hills, but the event this year was renamed to Critter Carnival, held in the afternoon and moved to a park. The event previously focused on rock and roll, but the music featured this year was jazz and bluegrass.
The new location for the event is nicer and more developed, said Rick Gardner, co-owner of Binky & Bell, an organization that sells original cartoon dog art to support animal rescue groups and shelters.
"It’s a great location for us, and the weather for the first year was raining the whole day so we were up to our feet in mud," he said. "But the music’s great and the benefits — each of the vendors — part of their fee goes toward supporting local rescue groups."
Kerr said he hoped the changes would help boost attendance rates and raise more awareness about animal rescue and rehabilitation. He cited moments in his life — including owning six dogs and three cats as a kid — as inspiration for the organization.