Event Details / Hotel / Schedule of Events

What is Bluegrass Pugfest?

Bluegrass Pugfest is a celebration of the Pug and social event for humans, Pugs, and non-Pug family members held on an annual basis to benefit Pug rescue organizations around the country. Attendees can browse over 50,000 square feet of vendors, silent auctions, rescue booths, and Pug competitions (costume, races, custard eating, talent, King/Queen, and more).

For those who came to love Milwaukee Pugfest, this event will be true to the traditions, while adding new and exciting components. The event was previously held in Milwaukee (Milwaukee Pugfest) for 15 consecutive years before moving to Kentucky. Over 3,200 people and 2,000 Pugs attended the event each year. Bluegrass Pugfest, Inc. is a Kentucky non-profit corporation with Federal tax exempt status under Sec. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code.

The event will provide fun and entertainment for the attendees while protecting and advancing the interest of Pug dogs by encouraging responsible Pug ownership. The event shall also raise awareness of the plight of Pugs used solely as breeding stock without concern for their welfare and assist in efforts furthering the prevention of cruelty to animals and humane education.

When & Where

Event Details

The 1st Annual Bluegrass Pugfest*
*Previously Milwaukee Pugfest – Celebrated in Milwaukee, WI for 15 consecutive years.
TWO DAY EVENT!

When

Saturday, May 14, 2022 from 10am to 4pm
Sunday, May 15, 2022 from 10am to 4pm

Where

Kentucky Exposition Center – West Hall
937 Phillips Lane, Louisville, KY 40209
Get Directions

Kentucky Exposition Center sits adjacent to the Louisville International Airport and Interstate 65 and is surrounded by many hotels for accommodations to fit any budget. See official hotel information below.

Also on the grounds of the Exposition Center – just outside the doors of the Bluegrass Pugfest is Kentucky Kingdom Amusement Park and Hurricane Bay Water Park . The riverfront city of Louisville offers much to do from world-class museums, parks and restaurants to exploring the Bourbon Trail. It is easy to turn your trip into a full-scale vacation! Learn more about What to do in Louisville.

Admission tickets and event t-shirts in exclusive pre-event colors are available to purchase here – Tickets/T-Shirts

Friendly “Smoochie-Faced” breeds such as Boston Terriers, Shih-Tzu’s, French Bulldogs, etc. are invited. Non “Smoochie-Faced” canine family members can come as well – as long as they are friendly, socialized, and well-behaved.

Pugfest is your chance to be surrounded by Pugs! Historically, the original event (Milwaukee Pug Fest, held for 15 consecutive years in Milwaukee, WI) had attendance of over 3,000 people and 2,000 Pugs!

Doors open at 9:45am and the first families EACH DAY receive a “goodie bag” filled with various merchandise provided by various manufacturers. *While supplies last.

Services onsite include educational sessions, pet photography, nail trimming, and an animal communicator.
There will be over 40,000 square feet of activities, contests, silent auctions, merchandise, rescue organizations, vendors, the famous “Pugfest Store”, and FUN!

Pugfest Rules

  • All Pets must be up-to-date on vaccinations.
  • No selling or advertising of dogs – violators will be banned from the event.
  • All dogs must be on a FIXED-LENGTH LEASH – NO “FLEXI-LEASHES” Allowed.
  • No Aggressive Dogs Allowed.
  • Attendees expressly release Kentucky Exposition Center and Bluegrass Pugfest, Inc. and its Board of Directors and Volunteers from any liability related to the event, incidents, or injuries.
  • Attendees agree to adhere to the rules of Bluegrass Pugfest, Inc. and those of Kentucky Exposition Center, and to adhere to the laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Official Hotels

It’s both good and bad news that we’ve sold out both of our preferred hotels.  So many Pugs and People coming we wiped out the rooms!  If you’re traveling with your dogs, we recommend visiting bringfido.com for information about other options in the Louisville area.

There are many hotels neighboring the Expo Center (search hotels near Kentucky Exposition center).  In addition, we have incredible downtown hotels and suburban hotels not far from the event.

We’re working to get more hotels on-board with us for next year.  Be sure to make your reservations early next year.

2022 Event Schedule of Activities (subject to change)

Saturday

10:30 AM – Opening Remarks

10:45 AM – Pug King / Queen Crowning – Sponsored by See Spot Grooming (3 Louisville Locations)

11:00 AM – Educational Breakout Session – “Turn Your Compassion Into Action: Passing Stronger Animal Welfare Laws” – Todd Blevins, Kentucky State Director, Humane Society of the United States.

12:00 PM – Pug Custard Eating Contest – Special Celebrity Emcee – Victor Puente – WKYT Lexington – Morning News Anchor

12:00 PM – Tunes with Trent Van Drisse (Roving Musical Entertainment)

12:30 PM – Educational Breakout Session – “Understanding Pug Myelopathy” – Kathleen Smiler, DVM, DACLAM

1:00 PM – Blessing of the Pugs and Friends – Gail Heller, Chaplain

1:30 PM – Silent Auction Table Closes

1:45 PM – Educational Breakout Session – “Pet Loss and Grief, Understanding, Coping, and Healing” – Gail Heller, CH., PBCSC, Founder, Chance’s Spot

2:00 PM – Most Photogenic Pug Winner Announced

2:30 PM – Pug Races – We even have real “starting gates” for the Pugs!

3:00 PM – Educational Breakout Session – “Emergency, Be Prepared” – Sara Beavin, Certified Instructor, Pet First Aid and CPR

4:00 PM – Event Closes for the Day

Sunday

10:30 AM – Opening Remarks

10:45 AM – Pug Talent Contest – For this contest show us your pug’s best comedy or talent routine- this could include dancing, spinning, singing and acting like a fool. Creativity a bonus! Your Pug’s routine should elicit laughs and smiles from the audience!  Good Luck!

11:00 AM – Educational Breakout Session – “Turn Your Compassion Into Action: Passing Stronger Animal Welfare Laws” – Todd Blevins, Kentucky State Director, Humane Society of the United States.

11:30 PM – Pug Costume Contest (Ready-Made, Hand-Crafted, Group, Float and Buggy) – Special Celebrity Emcee – Kelly K. from the Ben Davis and Kelly K Show / 99.7 WDJX

12:00 PM – Tunes with Trent Van Drisse (Roving Musical Entertainment)

12:30 PM – Educational Breakout Session – “Feeding Your Pet, Managing the Maze” – Sara Beavin, Certified Instructor, Pet First Aid and CPR

1:00 PM – Blessing of the Pugs and Friends

1:30 PM – Silent Auction Table Closes

1:45 PM – Educational Breakout Session – “Pet Loss and Grief, Understanding, Coping, and Healing” – Gail Heller, CH., PBCSC, Founder, Chance’s Spot

2:00 PM – Most Photogenic Pug Winner Announced

2:30 PM – Pug Races – We even have real “starting gates” for the Pugs!

3:00 PM – Educational Breakout Session – “Understanding Pug Myelopathy” – Kathleen Smiler, DVM, DACLAM

4:00 PM – Event Closes

KING and QUEEN of Bluegrass Pugfest 2021

Does your PUG have what it takes to be crowned??? The contest rules are simple.

Entries must be received by 3/20/22 and voting takes place from 3/21/22 to 4/30/22.  Winner will be announced in May!  King and Queen will be “Crowned” on Saturday, May 14th at 10:45 am.

King / Queen Contest Entry Details Below!

Bluegrass Pugfest KING and QUEEN

Sponsored by:

The Bluegrass PugFest King and Queen Contest has officially begun! 

Great News!  Due to the overwhelming participation in this event, we’ll also be “crowning” our second place winners as the Prince and Princess of the event and our third place winners as the Duke and Dutchess of the event!

How it works:

*Entry into the contest is free, send a high-quality photo of your Pug to kingandqueen@bluegrasspugfest.org.  Be sure to include you name and your Pug’s name as well as what state you live in.

*We’ll add your Pug’s photo to our “Shop” page at https://bluegrasspugfest.org/shop/ .  Once your Pug’s photo appears, let all your friends and family know and encourage them to vote for your Pug!

*Votes are $1.00 each – the Male and Female Pug with the most votes win the title of Bluegrass PugFest King and Queen.  The competition is always fierce!

*Entries must be received by 3/20/22 and voting takes place from 3/21/22 to 4/30/22.  Winner will be announced in May!

*The King and Queen will be crowned at the event on Saturday May 14 at 10:45 AM and will walk down the red carpet for all to see.  We’ll get some great photos of them and add them to our event gallery.

*The King and Queen contest is a fun way for you and your Pug to participate in the event while raising much-needed funds for the Pug Rescue groups that attend Bluegrass PugFest.

*While you’re at the event, other activities include Pug Custard Eating Contest, Pug Talent Contest, Pug Races, Pug Costume Contest, and many educational break-out sessions.

Other PugFest Events!

Contests:

Contests entry fees are $2.00 per Pug per contest.  Unless otherwise noted, First, Second, and Third place prizes will be awarded for each contest.

Pug Custard Eating Contest:  Saturday Noon.  Does your Pug have what it takes to be the fast to eat their frozen custard treat?  We’ll take the first 30 contestants registered to task!  Pugs parents will be given a small frozen custard, when the judges yell “Go”, the clock begins, the first Pug to finish all of their Custard wins.  First, Second, and Third place prizes awarded.

Blessing of the Pugs and Friends:  Saturday/Sunday 1:00 PM.  Gail Heller, Chaplain.

The Bruce Truman Most Photogenic Pug Contest: Contest runs from event opening to 1:50 PM each day – winners will be announced at 2:00 pm each day.  If you wish to enter, please bring a printed 4X6 of your photo(s) to the contest booth (must be 4×6). The cost is $2.00 per photo entry, or you can enter all 3 divisions of the day for $5.00. You may enter as many pictures as you would like in each division, the cost is still $2.00 per photo (or 3 for 5 discount).

Photos will be judged and the winners will be announced at 2pm at the contest ring.  You can pick up your photos starting at 2:30pm at the contest booth.  This contest is in memory of Bruce Truman, our contest organizer Ashley’s precious Pug.

Saturday:
Cutest Dog– this should be the best pic you have of your dog. (no people in photo please)
Funniest Pic of my Dog- Anything goes for this, we are looking for that pic of your dog doing something that will make us laugh. (People, props, etc are allowed in these)
Best Black and White Photo of my Dog– Got a great pic of your dog, turn it to black and white in a photo editor app. (Props allowed, no people please)
Sunday:
Cutest Dog– this should be the best pic you have of your dog. (no people in photo please)
Me and my Dog- We want to see the best picture of you and your dog. (multiple people in photo is allowed)
Best Holiday- We want to see the best holiday-themed pic of your pet. Any holiday or special occasion. (people, props, and costumes are allowed)

Pug Races:  Saturday/Sunday 2:30 PM.  Pugs “race” to the finish of our 50′ long course from one of 6 starting gates.  Be sure to bring a friend or family member to stand at the end of the course to encourage your four-legged friend to “hurry it along”!  This event is a crowd-favorite and shouldn’t be missed!  First, Second, and Third place prizes awarded.

Pug Talent Contest:  Sunday 10:45 AM.  Does your dog have a special talent? We want to see it!  Participants can enter with their dog to showcase their talent.  Time limit is 2 minutes.  Please bring your own equipment/supplies- (music, table, drop cloth, etc.) We will have a Bluetooth speaker to play a music file from your phone if needed- music must be clean/kid-friendly.  Any talent that involves liquid must be performed on a drop cloth or tarp. (paints, bubbles, food, etc.).  First, Second, and Third place prizes awarded.

Pug Costume Contest:  Sunday 11:30 AM.  This contest will be sure to make you laugh uncontrollably!  We have four categories – Best Hand-Made Costume, Best Store Bought Costume, Best Group, Best Buggy/Float.  Be sure to bring your supplies and best regalia!  Prizes for First, Second, and Third places in each category.

Educational Sessions

These free events are provided to give you a wealth of information about Pugs, nutrition, animal welfare, pet first aid, understanding and coping with pet loss, and Pug Myelopathy.  We will present these mini-workshops in a classroom environment.  Each workshop is designed to run about 30 minutes and allow time for questions and answers (around 45 minutes total).  We’ve done our best to avoid overlapping too many events.

Please plan to attend at least one or two of these incredible workshops, many professionals have worked hard to develop their workshops with you in mind.

Questions?

Contact us at bluegrasspugfest@gmail.com

NOTE: Bluegrass Pugfest, Inc. reserves the right to determine how the contest winners will be featured.