Beat the heat tonight with Dog Days of Summer in downtown Sturgis

The Sturgis Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is bringing a cool way to beat the heat with the first-ever Dog Days of Summer tonight in downtown Sturgis. Festivities for the evening will include a classic car cruise-in, hot dog eating competition, community dog show, and a showing of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. 

A classic car cruise-in will kick off the events at 5 p.m. with parking spaces along US-12 reserved solely for those participating in the car show. DDA’s Ryan Conrod said there is no pre-registration to participate required, and those wishing to join may simply pull up and park at any of the designated spaces.

Free Church Park (203 E. Chicago Rd.) will be the location for a “Kids Korner” with activities for children like face-painting, a balloon artist, and a bounce house. The park will also host the community dog show beginning at 6 p.m. The event was organized with help from Bark About It and the 4H Canine Club, and will feature awards such as best pooch costume, best talent or trick, waggiest tail, fastest eater, and Judge’s Choice for favorite animal. 

Acoustic musicians will be spread throughout downtown Sturgis and will include Ben Prowett, Olivia Happel, and “local favorite” Bill Johnson with his wide variety of classic and 90s rock, as well as alternative country and Americana.

Food trucks will be parked on North St. and ready to feed hungry event-goers during the showing of Fantastic Beasts at 7 p.m. with options including Mamazzoni’s Italian Beef, El Sabor de mi Pueblo, Olde Time Waffle Cone, and J Dawgz. Mark it with a B Cupcakes by Stacy will also be on site serving Hogwarts-themed treats with cupcake flavors such as Deathly Hallows, Elderwand, Niffler Treats, and Butterbeer. 

Local olive oil and balsamic vinegar shop Olive Fresh (105 E. Chicago Rd.) will host a hot dog eating competition at 5:30 p.m. Ten competitors will have two minutes to eat wagyu beef hot dogs and buns, supplied by Vander Farms. The winner will win a Vander Farm’s steak package. 

A Paws and Canvas activity will be hosted by Brush and Hook Studio (205 W. Chicago Rd.) during Dog Days of Summer. From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. the public can bring in their pets to stamp their feet and create a work of art. The activity is $15 and includes a 8×10 canvas and all supplies needed. Additionally, the studio will be collecting supplies for the local animal rescue, and those who bring in donations (food, blankets, or toys) will be entered in a drawing to win a class.  

The Dog Days of Summer will kick off tonight, Friday, August 11, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. More information is available on the event’s Facebook page.

Beca Welty is a staff writer and columnist for Watershed Voice.