Northwest Florida Great Dane Rescue’s (NWFLGDR) lovable, gentle giants are back to take over Seville Square in downtown Pensacola on Saturday, Oct. 1, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the 6th Annual Danetoberfest celebration and fundraising event.

“Highway to the Dane-Ger Zone” is this year’s event theme, so festival-goers best come prepared for face-to-face nose boops and surprise slobber bombs! NWFLGDR will have more than two dozen adoptable Great Danes onsite to meet and give treats to. In addition, there will be dozens of NWFLGDR alumni danes in attendance too. All two-legged and four-legged friends are invited to join!

Danetoberfest is not only an adoption event, it’s also the rescue’s largest fundraiser for the year. NWFLGDR’s mission is to bring attention to the 50+ Danes currently available for adoption within the rescue; to emphasize the importance of spaying and neutering pets; to increase awareness about the benefits of adopting and fostering in your community; and to help raise $12,500 for the rescue to be used for veterinary expenses, medical supplies, food and general care expenses.

“We’ve taken in more than 200 great danes in the past year. The demand for our help has steadily increased, month after month, without relenting. We’ve been paying to temporarily board danes in vet clinics and boarding facilities across coastal Alabama and north Florida to try to keep up with the intake needs,” said Katie King, vice president of NWFLGDR.

“Shelters across the southeast are overflowing. We’ve truly never seen so many danes being dumped and abandoned regionally. The truth is, we can’t rescue our way out of overbreeding and pet overpopulation. And that applies for all breeds, not just great danes. So, we hope this event helps raise awareness of our rescue’s plight and of the importance of spaying/neutering your pets and choosing to adopt.”

This year’s event will feature about two dozen vendors selling all kinds of arts and crafts – everything from drawings and paintings, to customized collars and dog beds, to baked goodies for people and pets, to colorful candles and soaps.  Plus, a photo booth set up, dog training demonstrations, and a foam-ball pit for the pups to play in!

There will be several food vendors on site: Melt Pensacola selling the cheesiest gourmet sandwiches and several unique mac n’ cheeses; La Casita Restaurant selling tacos, burritos and quesadillas; and Snowbiz Shaved Ice selling flavored ice treats.

NWFLGDR will be raffling off a two-night stay at the Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach Gulf Front Hotel, and a three-night stay in a four-bedroom, bayou waterfront vacation rental home off Perdido Bay. Raffle tickets are $5 each or six tickets for $20.

In addition to the major prizes, more than 100 other items will be raffled off throughout the day – including custom artwork, gift baskets, gift cards, and collectibles — all totaling more than $10,000. 

NWFLGDR relies entirely on public donations to exist. The rescue spends anywhere between $500 to $1,000, and often much more, to care for each Great Dane it takes in. That includes medical treatments, food, preventatives and medication, microchip and spay/neuter surgery, but does not take into account the amount of personal time and energy it takes every foster to nurse each Dane back to health and acclimate it to a caring environment.

“We hope to see lots of dog-lovers join us in Seville Square on Saturday, Oct. 1. Come out and eat some great food, buy some raffles tickets, shop around, and let one of our gentle giants give you some slobbery love,” said Michelle Cramer, president of NWFLGDR. “Who knows? You just may meet your new human-sized, couch-stealing best friend!”

Danetoberfest 2022 is a DOG-FRIENDLY event. That’s right, you can bring Fido along! All dogs must be friendly and up-to-date on vaccinations. Please, no retractable leashes!