County's dogs will have their day once again as show returns

Suffolk Dog Day will be returning following the pandemic

Suffolk Dog Day will be returning following the pandemic - Credit: IAN LIPMAN

For two years, our canine friends have had their lives on 'paws' as the Covid-19 pandemic placed restrictions on public events. 

But on July 31, Suffolk’s dogs will finally have their day when the Suffolk Dog Day show, the largest canine event in the county calendar, returns at Helmingham Hall, with the positive aim to encourage everyone - whether animal or human - to reset, recover and recharge following the difficult period as the country responded to the coronavirus. 

A wide variety of events will be taking place on the day, including a Royal fancy dress procession, breed parades, dynamic dog displays, have-a-go activities, demonstrations and advice from canine experts.

Suffolk Dog Day will feature parades and other events

Suffolk Dog Day will feature parades and other events - Credit: IAN LIPMAN

Every penny raised will be donated to Suffolk charities and community groups and the event has already raised almost £600,000 and supported over 250 projects across every corner of Suffolk.  

The original idea for Suffolk Dog Day came about over a decade ago when a group of friends wanted to raise money to support the work of Suffolk Community Foundation, which supports local charities and community groups. 

There will be lots of classes for owners to enter their dogs in at the Suffolk Dog Day

There will be lots of classes for owners to enter their dogs in at the Suffolk Dog Day - Credit: Ian Lipman

Event manager Laura Ripman said: “This really is an event by the people of Suffolk, for the people of Suffolk. We want you and your dog to have the best day out, as we return in 2022 with the all-time favourites and plenty of super-exciting new attractions. 

“A fantastic family day out for all to enjoy, we really look forward to coming together after all this time and to celebrate the love, happiness and companionship our four-legged friends bring to our lives.” 

The Suffolk Dog Day in 2019

The Suffolk Dog Day in 2019 - Credit: SUFFOLK COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

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The dog day is part of The Festival of Suffolk, a series of events being held across the county between May and October and is being staged to coincide with the Queen’s platinum jubilee. 

Tim Holder, head of public affairs at Suffolk Community Foundation, said: “It has been a long wait for Suffolk Dog Day lovers to see this incredibly well-loved event back up and running. We promise a really uplifting, confidence-boosting ‘right royal’ celebration.” 

Fingers crossed for sunshine - it should be a lovely relaxing time at Suffolk Dog Day

Fingers crossed for sunshine - it should be a lovely relaxing time at Suffolk Dog Day - Credit: Ian Lipman

The show is run by more than 150 volunteers and this year’s lead volunteers are Richard Cooper and Robin Vestey. 

The 2018 Suffolk Dog Day show

The 2018 Suffolk Dog Day show - Credit: RICHARD FERRIS IMAGES

Mr Cooper said: “The original idea was that a few volunteers would put on a small dog show for the locals in Helmingham. Here we are, only a little over a decade later and #PawPower has helped support so much great work in Suffolk.  

“It has fed families via foodbanks, relieved the loneliness of older people, supported those fighting addiction, experiencing domestic violence or sexual abuse, the list of great work supported continues to grow every year.” 

For more information about the event, or to volunteer to help, visit www.suffolkdogday.com. 

Scenes from the 2016 event, held at Helmingham Hall

Scenes from the 2016 event, held at Helmingham Hall - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown