Church of the Nativity plans pet blessing, pet fair

The Episcopal Church of the Nativity will sponsor its second annual Blessing of the Animals and Pet Fair beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, at the Gazebo and the surrounding parking lot in downtown Fayetteville.

A wide array of activities will be featured, including pet contests, a petting zoo, pet demonstrations, pony rides, food, face painting and pet adoptions. Popcorn, cotton candy, balloons and a clown will add color to the events. Prizes will be awarded in the pet contests for Best in Fashion, Most Obedient, Biggest Pet, and Smallest Pet. Some businesses and other organizations will have tables set up with displays and activities, including raffle ticket sales.

The actual Blessing of the Animals will begin at 3 p.m. and will be conducted by the Rev. Rita Henault, rector of Church of the Nativity, and by the Rev. Kristin Heiden, minister of Christian formation at First United Methodist Church, Fayetteville. People are encouraged to bring pets of all sizes.

Corporate sponsors are Doggie Day Care of Fayette, Able 2 Rent All, Affordable Signs & Awards, and Fayette Veterinary Medical Center. Prize donors are Doggie Day Care, Best Dawg Gone Grooming, Bandits Buddies.com, Harris-Stone Cleaners, Broadway Diner, Baci’s Italian Restaurant, Longbranch Steak and Seafood, Bugaboo Creek Steak House, Staples, Fayetteville Express Car Wash, Mike & C’s Family Sports Grill, Chick-fil-A, Partners II Pizza, City Cafe and Bakery, Royal Chef China Bistro and Athena’s Pizza and Greek Cuisine.

All proceeds will go to the Fayette County Humane Society. Last year’s event raised slightly more than $1,000, which the church hopes to exceed this year.

“The Blessing of the Animals is a tradition inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, who lived in Italy in the late 12th and early 13th centuries, and who is known as the patron saint of animals,” said Henault. “We hope that many will bring their pets and join us for an afternoon of fun and contribution to a truly good cause.”

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