With their tails wagging, tongues lagging and leashes held taught, dogs of all shapes, sizes, colors and breeds, as well as their owners, gathered on the back lawn of the scenic Americana Vineyards Winery on a beautiful, sunny June day. Tents were set up with representatives from various local animal shelters and pet services, outdoor games, as well as food trucks and ice cream, encircled the lawn where dogs and owners sat and played. Inside, people could taste and purchase wine and eat at the Crystal Lake Cafe. Local bands El Caminos, The Tarps and Purple Valley played live music on the terrace all afternoon for their human and canine audiences.
Over 2,000 people convened at Americana Vineyards Winery in Interlaken on Saturday, June 3, from 12 to 7 p.m. for the 5th annual Woofstock. Woofstock, a pet rescue benefit hosted by Americana owners Joe Gober and Butch Newhart, aimed to raise $6,000 as well as collect supplies for local animal shelters.
Guests were encouraged to buy wine and donate to the shelters Woofstock was sponsoring, which included the Beverly Animal Shelter in Waterloo, Browncoat Cat Rescue in Ithaca, Fetch a Friend Rescue in Seneca Falls, Pet the Pet Program in Trumansburg and Meals for Mutts in Webster.
“There’s a real need and there still is for these small, independent shelters to find a way to raise money and goods,” said Carol Fingar, who organized the event. “For the past five years, Woofstock has been a perfect way for the community to come together and do that.”
“I like the atmosphere here— it’s so dog friendly. It’s good for the dogs to get out and socialize and meet new friends and people. It’s always a great time,” said Jamie Hughes, a representative from Fetch a Friend Rescue, who has been attending Woofstock since its early beginnings.
Gober and Newhart established Woofstock in 2012 because of their love for animals. They started off by raising $2,500, which eventually grew to higher and higher numbers. “What Woofstock means to me is bringing people in the community together and helping dogs find support and good homes,” said Gober.
Gober and Newhart adopted Max and Rubie, two labrador retrievers, who served as mascots for the event. When both Max and Rubie passed away in 2015 Gober and Newhart were heartbroken, but Woofstock continued, raising more money each year.
Max and Rubie’s legacy is carried on by recently adopted rescue pups, Maverick, who hails from a shelter in Tennessee and Lily, adopted locally. Both Lily and Maverick could be seen happily trotting around the winery grounds this past weekend— playing with other dogs and greeting their owners who were enjoying the day with wine slushies and sunscreen.
“Wine and dogs— where could you go wrong?” joked Fingar.
For more information about Woofstock and Americana Vineyards Winery, please visit americanavineyards.com/.