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 2nd Annual Bluegrass Pugfest

TWO DAY EVENT!

When

Saturday, May 20, 2023 from 9am to 4pm
Sunday, May 21, 2023 from 9am 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 will be available soon!

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 8:45am 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

We have a wide-range of hotels offering us special rates for PugFest 2023!  Our “headquarters” hotel will be the Courtyard by Marriott Louisville East – they are offering waived pet fees for those with Pugs.

Reservation Information:

· To reserve your room(s)  Online https://mmxreservations.com/fer/Louisville?pageCode=23pugfest (note that it is not necessary to enter the group code on the website) or Phone – 800-743-3100 –  Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5 pm eastern time

· Cancellation Policy:   Any reservation cancelled starting May 8, 2023 will be charged first night’s room and tax by the hotel to the credit card on file.

If you have any further questions regarding the process, please feel free to reach out to the Louisville Tourism Housing Department at 800-743-3100 or email housing@gotolouisville.com.

2023 Event Schedule – Subject to Change

Saturday

9:30 AM – Opening Remarks

9:45 AM – Pug King / Queen Crowning

10:00 AM – Educational Breakout Session – TBA

10:15 AM – Pug Custard Eating Contest

11:00 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!

11:30 AM – Educational Breakout Session – TBA

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

12:00 PM – Pug Costume Contest(Ready-Made, Hand-Crafted, Group, Float and Buggy)

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 – TBA

2:00 PM – Most Photogenic Pug Winner Announced

2:15 PM – Pug Races – We even have real “starting gates” for the Pugs!

3:00 PM – Educational Breakout Session – TBA

4:00 PM – Event Closes for the Day

Sunday

9:30 AM – Opening Remarks

10:00 AM – Educational Breakout Session – TBA

10:30 AM – Pug Costume Contest (Ready-Made, Hand-Crafted, Group, Float and Buggy)

11:30 AM – Educational Breakout Session – TBA

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

12:00 PM -Pug Custard Eating Contest

12:30 PM – Educational Breakout Session – TBA

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

2:15 PM – Pug Races – We even have real “starting gates” for the Pugs!

3:00 PM – Educational Breakout Session – TBA

4:00 PM – Event Closes – Thank you for coming and your support.