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Blue and Greyhounds alike in Gettysburg

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They’re back! The Blue and the “Grey” hounds alike are back in Gettysburg this week for 16th annual Greyhounds in Gettysburg fundraiser that is sure to unleash a good time.

Since 1997, Nittany Greyhounds, a non-profit organization established in State College, PA has been re-homing retired racing greyhounds. To date, the organization has been successful in finding forever homes for over 1,400 retired racing hounds.

One of the organization’s most widely anticipated events each year is Greyhounds in Gettysburg, which has grown to become the largest greyhound reunion in the country. Over 850 people preregistered for last year’s event alone, and at least 1,000 people attended. Greyhounds in Gettysburg 2014 will kick off on Thursday, April 24 and last throughout the weekend, concluding on Sunday, April 27. Throughout the course of the four days comprising of this event, there will be many activities and attractions for dogs and humans alike.

The party will get started at 10 a.m. sharp on Thursday, at the Gettysburg Outlets. Come out and enjoy a free continental breakfast, human and doggie treats, coupons and a raffle ticket. If you bring your dog, dressed up in a costume, you will receive a second raffle ticket. Watering stations will be set up all around the center as well as through town, as many dog friendly accommodations will be made. Many area merchants are even offering special sale discounts throughout town. You and your faithful companion will even have the opportunity to go on guided living history walking tours throughout the downtown are. There will be a Hogs and Dogs reception with a free raffle drawing at Battlefield Harley Davidson, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., followed by a special bonfire and entertainment even at 8 p.m. called Greyhounds, Ghosts & Generals. Here you are invited to sit around a bonfire as a storyteller shares tales of ghosts and history that feature dogs in the Civil War. Stories will include one true account of “Sallie,” a Stafford Bull Terrier who marched alongside her master and his regiment. The evening will also offer a guided tour of the haunted Hoffman Mansion at 9 p.m.

The fun continues on Friday, starting bright and early at 8 a.m. with one of the battlefield walks being offered. Come out for a day that comprises of raffles, receptions and many ongoing events at the Gettysburg Allstar Expo Center. Other events will be ongoing at the Eisenhower Hotel including numerous receptions, a banquet, old time photos and an art auction.

Saturday excitements will start at 8 a.m. beginning with an art workshop and another battlefield walk. Numerous other activities and fun are in store for the day, but the highlight is, of course the Costume Parade. Starting at 9:45 a.m. (preregistration check-in at 9 a.m.), man and dog alike may dress up in wacky costumes and come to the Activities Area for a line-up 10 minutes early to register for the contest. The parade will venture around the Expo Hall, and end outside in the grass for judging of costumes (or back in the Activities Area in case of bad weather). Judgment will take place in several categories including Best Civil War Theme, Funniest, and Best of the Rest. There will also be a Best in Show Award where a winner will be chosen from the other three winners. Note that you can only sign up in one category. Following the costume contest will be Stupid Greyhound Tricks in the Activities Area. Here you can have your greyhound show off his or her special talent and do something really special or just silly, come show it off! All awards for the costume contest and trick show are cash prizes. Other Saturday events include a chicken barbeque, raffle drawings and much more.

Sunday marks the last day for Greyhounds in Gettysburg. Starting at 9 a.m., events will include: Doggie Doody Bingo, at 9 a.m.; Blur of Fur Speed run, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., and a Celebration of Life/closing ceremonies at 11 a.m.

Greyhounds in Gettysburg is sure to be one doggone good time. To learn more about this event, go to www.greyhoundsingettysburg.org. To learn more about Nittany, go to www.nittanygreys.org.

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