ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Downtown Rogers will host an array of events to kick off the beginning of National Pet Month in May.

According to a press release, First United Methodist Church is hosting a community-wide celebration to include: a ribbon-cutting for the new Little Free Pet Pantry, a “blessing of the pets” and a Humane Society of Animals pop-up adoption center. The activities begin at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 1, in the 1st UMC park at the corner of 4th and Elm in Downtown Rogers.

What began as a Girl Scout Bronze Award Project for two Troop 5349 members has grown into a community-wide celebration that brings pet owners and First United Methodist Church members together. Scouts Clara D. and Stella K. designed, built and installed a Little Free Pet Pantry to accompany the Little Free Pantry and Little Free Library located at 4th and Elm in the First United Methodist Church Park. Their goal was to help families provide food and other necessities for their pets when the need is great. 

The girls also want to allow community members to support those who love and care for dogs and cats by making donations to the new pet pantry. Following the ribbon-cutting, First United Methodist Church will offer a blessing of pets, and the community is invited to bring their animals on a leash or in a pet carrier. 

“Our pets bring so much love and joy into our daily lives,” commented Reverend James Kjorlaug, pastor of First UMC. “To share in a time of blessing them gives us a great opportunity to celebrate and thank our animals for all they add to our lives.”

The event is free and donations to any of the three little free pantries on site are invited (Pet food, people food and books for the library). Also planned is a pop-up pet adoption booth by the Humane Society for Animals, Inc.

Additional Activities to Celebrate Dog-Friendly Rogers Include:

Thursday, May 12-4:30 – 7:30 p.m. The May Art on the Bricks Art Walk theme is “Barks on the Bricks.”

Pet lovers are invited to bring their fur babies and meet the pet portrait artists and photographers and visual artists, plus visit pop-up booths by non-profit organizations and businesses that serve the animal community. Dancers from Ballet Westside will be putting their best foot forward with a dance performance at 5:30 p.m. in the turntable plaza at Railyard Park, and pet-related vendor tents will be set up along N. 2nd Street and in Railyard Park. Following the humane ballet performance will be a “dance with your doggies” opportunity. 

Artist and Author Joy Noir presents “A Fairy-tail Deconstructed: Exhibition & Experiential Art,” featuring her book “Three-Legged Dog and a Chick.” The Art on the Bricks Dog-Friendly Downtown Sponsor is Best Friends Animal Society. They will be offering an interactive paw print impressions booth, a coloring sheet, pet swag and information about pet adoptions. 

Location:  Into+View Art Gallery and Studio, 300 N 2nd Street, Rogers. Thursday, May 12, 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. https://www.facebook.com/events/510436494142663

Pet Painting Workshop with Amy Eichler—Beginning and experienced artists may participate in a pet painting workshop with Rogers Artist Amy Eichler.

Location: Brick & Mortar, 120 W Walnut Street, Rogers, Thursday, May 12, 2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
https://www.facebook.com/events/337288535091247

Deborah Billingsley Photography Pet Photo Booth, Rogers Experimental House, 121 W Walnut Street, Rogers, Thursday, May 12, 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Art on the Bricks Art Walk Pop-Up Pet Business and Non-Profit Vendors in Railyard Park and N. 2nd Street, with artist exhibitions throughout Downtown Rogers, Thursday, May 12, 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Art on the Bricks Art Walk is free to participants and guests. Interested artists and pet-related businesses and non-profits may learn how to participate at www.artonthebricks.com.

Wednesday, May 4, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Open Water Swims- Beaver Lake Highway 12 Boat Ramp, https://www.facebook.com/events/1218726448661809/1218727131995074

Fayetteville-based travel blogger and person/pet trainer Denise Holmes will be attending several Downtown Rogers businesses and adding photos and stories to her social media sites and blog during the month of May.

Downtown Rogers Art on the Bricks Art Walk showcases regional artists while enhancing the artistic and cultural opportunities in Rogers. The monthly event is designed to bring people to the cultural and historical center of the city and showcase Northwest Arkansas’ deep pool of creative talent.