Animals and their humans flock to the 23rd Annual Pet Rock Festival in Grafton

By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing writer

Will O’Shea, 5, photographs the Grafton Police K-9 Kita. (Photos / Ed Karvoski Jr.)

GRAFTON – Many animals and their humans flocked to Wyman-Gordon grounds in North Grafton for the 23rd annual Pet Rock Festival on September 12. Participants also included music fans.

“Due to the pandemic that closed the world in 2020, Pet Rock Fest has been held as a virtual event,” a press release noted. “But like a stuffed animal compared to a real dog, nothing beats the real one.”

2021 marked the festival’s fourth year in North Grafton after already taking place in Shrewsbury, Worcester and Sturbridge. Again, the proceeds are donated to local animal charities.

The five-hour event balanced fun activities with education on animal issues. Representatives of many animal organizations provided information on their causes. Only vegetarian food was available.

An amateur dog show awarded medals, trophies and prizes for the best ears, the owner-dog lookalike, the most “waggi” tail, the best singer and the sweetest face. The judges of an adoptable pet parade unanimously chose No Mutts Left Behind foster rescue to win $ 500.

On the ground, a police search was demonstrated by Grafton’s officer Joe Coggans and K-9 Zita. In addition, Southborough-based Pups in the Air offered several Frisbee recovery presentations.

Meanwhile, NBC-TV’s “The Voice” finalist Billy Gilman has made headlines in the music scene. Gilman is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the youngest singer to reach No. 1 on Billboard’s Best Country Albums charts.

Learn more about the Pet Rock Festival, its fundraising and animal welfare efforts at and

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