Parties can bring together all sorts of people. But only a party at the SPCA Albrecht Center, a party for the pets, can bring together all sorts of people, dogs, a few brave cats, and even a T. rex.
Barkaritaville has come and gone again, thankfully without a drop of rain in sight this time. There was a crisp chill in the air for our fourth annual fall fundraising event, but we had plenty of tasty treats and delicious drinks to keep us warm.
Twenty-five themed booths were in attendance, each with their own, unique offering of food and drink and each ready to compete for the grand prize.
Top prize for best dish went to Russ and Jennifer Richardson for their pulled pork tacos with Texas caviar in their "Boss Hogg" themed booth complete with the man himself all the way from Hazzard County. Their prize included two trophies and dinner for two at Alloro.
Best drink of the night was awarded to Lynn Rapp's and Jennifer Brosnahan's classic, crowd pleasing apple cider in their seasonally fitting "Fall" booth, earning them two trophies and dinner for two at Malia's.
Votes for best theme and best overall booth were overwhelmingly cast for the same very popular and more than a little scary booth: "Silver Scream", by Laura Phillips and Tacoa Allen. These very creative grand prize winners went home with four trophies, dinner at Prime Steakhouse and Linda's Bistro, a mountain vacation to "Lorelai's Lair" in Warne, NC and a $500 Visa gift card.
The costume contest was a new addition to the event this year, and we were thrilled to receive over 30 entries. After reviewing photos of each super hero, zombie dog, princess, pumpkin and pug, we narrowed the entries down to third place: Jennifer Pruiett's "Unipug", second place: Madison Leslie's "Dorothy" and first place winners: Lida, Brian, Pat and their pooches as "The Minions". Each winner received a large, glass treat jar filled with homemade doggie treats from Downtown Dog plus a trophy for the first place winner.
Barkaritaville 2016 once again raised thousands of dollars for our organization! That money will help us feed, shelter, medicate, treat and find homes for hundreds of animals that will make their way through our doors in the coming months.
We are so grateful to our staff members and volunteers for their hard work as well as to all of the booth operators, donors and party goers that made this event possible, successful and fun including Third Time Charmers for cranking out some great tunes all night.
This event would not be possible without the support of our sponsors: Aiken Saddlery, The Aiken Standard, Atlantic Broadband, Auto Tech Inc, Avoca Equine LLC, City of Aiken Parks Recreation & Tourism, Cummings Insurance Agency Inc, The Dog & Hound, Hutson-Etherredge Companies, Linda's Bistro, Return Engagement, Security Federal Bank, Smith-Massey-Brodie-Guynn & Mayes LLC and The Willcox.
We hope to see you all again for Barkaritaville 2017!
Sarah Neikam is the Communications & Marketing Director for the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare. She is an Aiken native and has been with the SPCA since 2012. Sarah lives in Graniteville with her husband, Tom, mother, Cheryl and three adopted cats: Bastian, Luna and Grady.