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Kegs 4 K9s draws dog, beer lovers to Magic Island

CRAIG HUDSON | Gazette-Mail photos
Jan Biernacke gets a lick from Otis, a Pomeranian-Shiba Inu mix, Saturday during the annual Kegs 4 K9s festival at Magic Island in Charleston. The craft brew festival is a fundraiser for the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association.
Porter Wagner holds onto his dogs, Smokie, Jasper, DJ and Henry, as another dog walks by during the annual Kegs 4 K9s.
Kegs 4 K9s moved to Charleston’s Magic Island Saturday after two years in Dunbar.

Dog and beer lovers were able to soak in the sun and enjoy the third annual Kegs 4 K9s festival Saturday, the first iteration of the festival and fundraiser to be held at Magic Island in Charleston.

“Beer festivals are everywhere these days, but we say what separates us and the other ones is that we encourage people to bring their leash-friendly dogs,” said Jessie Shafer, director of development at the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association, which organized the event.

The festival, held from 4 to 9 p.m., included a variety of pet-themed vendors, live music and beer from Capitol Beverage Company, New Belgium Brewing Company and others. The KCHA had several of its dogs available for adoption at the event in an effort to find them a new home.

Ticket sales went toward the KCHA, helping provide food and care for the animals at its shelter. Anna Milam, of Scott Depot, said it is a big reason she has gone to the festival every year.

“I think it’s for a great cause, helping animals out,” Milam said.

Sales “spiked” once the KCHA announced the festival would be moving to Charleston after spending the previous two years in Dunbar, according to Shafer.

“While the drive to Dunbar isn’t a long distance, it’s just super convenient to hold it here in Charleston,” she said. “The city is really a fantastic place for this.”

The sun was shining when the festival kicked off, a welcome change for the KCHA after the second-annual Woofstock and Wieners was postponed from its June 18 date due to inclement weather, Shafer said.

Julia DeStefano, a vendor at the festival and owner of the personalized portrait shop Paisleys and Portraits, said she found out about the event due to a Facebook notice of Woofstock and Wieners’ postponement. The notice encouraged vendors to take their talents to Kegs 4 K9s.

As the festival kicked off, DeStefano said she was looking forward to making portraits of festival-goers’ dogs.

“I’ve always loved to draw pet portraits,” she said. “They always have great expressions and fun faces.”

Shafer said the festival is an important part of the KCHA’s outreach efforts to keep the shelter and pets up for adoption on the minds of Kanawha County residents.

It’s also a welcome change of pace for KCHA employees and volunteers, she added.

“It’s good to see the folks on our staff enjoy themselves, they deserve a break,” she said.

Reach Max Garland at, 304-348-4886 or follow @MaxGarlandTypes on Twitter.

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