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 3rd Annual Bluegrass PugFest

TWO DAY EVENT!

When

Saturday, June 1, 2024 from 9am to 4pm
Sunday, June 2, 2024 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.

Hotels

January 9th, 2024 – WooHoo!  Hotels are ready to book.  We really encourage you to book your stay early as hotels in Louisville fill up almost every weekend.  We’ve worked hard this year to find hotels with great reviews, waived or low pet fees, and in a variety of locations.  Our Headquarter hotel this year (Home2Suites by Hilton Louisville Airport Expo Center) is very close to the event and is offering shuttles to and from PugFest!  The headquarter hotel is charging a reduced $75 pet fee and it’s per stay.

If you’re looking for a little more suburban location, we have two great hotels around 15 miles from the event (easy drive) – both are offering waived pet fees.  Aloft Louisville East and Residence Inn by Marriott Louisville Old Henry.  Residence Inn also offers free breakfast.

Parking is complimentary at all of our partner hotels.

Click here to make reservations – there is no group code needed, just skip that field.

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.  Please limit one per family.  *While supplies last.

Services onsite include educational sessions, pet photography, nail trimming, and an animal communicator.
There will be nearly 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.

2024 Event Schedule – Coming January 2024

This is what we did in 2023!

Saturday

9:00 AM – Doors Open

9:30 AM – Opening Remarks

9:45 AM – Pug King/Queen, Prince/Princess, Duke/Duchess Crowning Ceremony

10:30 AM – Educational Breakout Sessions – TBA

11:30 AM – Costume Contest (Best Pug In Costume, Best Dog in Costume, Best Group/Duo, Best Handmade, Best Dog/Owner Look-A-Like, Best Costume From a Movie, Best Float/Buggy)

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

12:30 PM – Pug Custard Eating Contest (2 Sessions, 25 per session)

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

1:30 PM – Silent Auction Table Closes

2:00 PM – Most Photogenic Pug Winner Announced

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

4:00 PM – Event Closes for the Day

Sunday

9:00 AM – Doors Open

9:30 AM – Opening Remarks

9:45 AM – Pug King /Queen Crowning Encore

10:30 AM – Pug Talent Contest (Best Trick, Best Catcher, Best Kisser, Best Paw Shaker, Best Tail Wagger, Best Overall Talent)

11:00 AM – Educational Breakout Sessions – TBA

11:30 AMPug Contests – Oldest, Youngest, Curliest Tail, Fanciest Fella/Loveliest Lady (Pugs dressed up in accessories and modeling on the red carpet)

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

12:15 PM – Educational Breakout Session – TBA

12:30 PM -Pug Custard Eating Contest (2 Sessions, 25 per session)

1:00 PM – Blessing of the Pugs and Friends

1:30 PM – Silent Auction Table Closes

2:00 PM – Most Photogenic Pug Winner Announced

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

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

KING and QUEEN of Bluegrass PugFest 2024

Bluegrass Pugfest KING and QUEEN

The Bluegrass PugFest King and Queen Contest will officially begin on March 1, 2024!

Last year you helped us raise over $11,000 for rescued Pugs – let’s raise $15,000 this year!

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, when the contest begins on March 1st, entries may be submitted at https://www.gogophotocontest.com/bluegrasspugfest .  Contestant submissions will be accepted until March 31st at 11:59pm e.s.t..

*At 12:00 am e.s.t. on April 1st, voting will begin.  Votes are $1.00 each – the Male and Female Pug with the most votes win the title of Bluegrass PugFest King and Queen.  Voting will take place until 9:00pm e.s.t. on 4/30/24.  The competition is always fierce!

*2nd place male and female Pugs will win title of Prince and Princess and 3rd place male and female Pugs will win title of Duke and Duchess!

*Entries must be received by 3/31/2024 and voting takes place from 4/01/2024 to 4/30/24.  Winner will be announced in May!

*The King and Queen will be crowned at the event on Saturday June 1 at 9:45 AM and will walk down the red carpet for all to see.  All other “court” members and contestants will also walk the red carpet.  We’ll also walk the red carpet Sunday June 2 at 9:45 AM.

*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.