Chill out at Scarborough Winterfest

Winterfest at Curran Hall is going to the dogs.

One of the highlights of the second annual event – which takes place Jan. 22 – is the dog show, hosted by Muddy Paws in the Guild, a local pet store and grooming salon.

The dog show is open to anyone who wants to enter their pet with chances to win prizes. This year visitors can expect fun categories such as Best Trick, Best Kiss and even an award for the pet that looks most like their owner.

“Last year we had 12 participants. This year we are making the show more accessible and we hope to have way more dogs in the show,” Derrick Zuber, manager of Muddy Paws in the Guild, said.

After the dog show, pets can visit the first off-leash dog park in the community, Botany Hill Park.

No dog? No worries! There’s plenty of other events offered at the festival, which takes place from 11 a.m. to  3 p.m. at the Curran Hall Community Centre at 277 Orton Park Rd., south of Ellesmere Road.

Participants can skate on the centre’s natural outdoor ice rink, play winter-themed games and visit the many booths and tables hosted by various organizations, such as The Toronto Zoo.

According to Amanda Chambers, spokesperson for the zoo, visitors will be able to participate in a station with touchable items such as real animal skins.

For those wanting to take shelter from the cold, inside the centre is face painting, special guests and of course food.

Diane Montana, who stumbled upon the event, is looking forward to Winterfest.

“Last year I was visiting my mother who lives in the area and I noticed activity at the community centre. I went over and it was Winterfest. I will definitely be attending again this year,” Montana said.

The community centre will also be accepting canned food donations to support the Scarborough Centre for healthy communities.