With the National Dog Show planning a return to full-scale normalcy this November, tickets are now on sale for the annual canine extravaganza at www.nds.nationaldogshow.com. Dog show weekend is Nov. 19-20 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks and ticket prices are $16 for adults, $7 for children 4-11 with free admission for kids three and under. Parking is also free.
The annual Kennel Club of Philadelphia (KCP) extravaganza went spectatorless in 2020 and had vaccinated-only admission last year. Organizers continue to comply with health and safety recommendations and, like other sports and entertainment events, the show is planning for the complete array of attractions. In recent years, pre-pandemic, the weekend has drawn up to 15,000 attendees among families and dog lovers to the Expo Center in Oaks.
The KCP now operates one of only two “benched” shows remaining in the United States (San Francisco), enabling visitors to find all the breeds in designated locations throughout each day. That unusual aspect of the show and the affordable ticket pricing is in line with the KCP’s mission of educating the public about responsible pet parenting and the wonderfulness of dogs.
The Saturday show is taped by NBC for air on Thanksgiving Day from noon-2 p.m. in all time zones. The KCP show originated in 1879 and has run continuously since 1933. The NBC television special airs regionally on NBC 10 and is America’s largest showcase for man’s best friend. The National Dog Show Presented by Purina has been on the air since 2002.
The KCP is anticipating an entry of some 2,000 dogs from 190-plus breeds on Saturday with similar numbers on Sunday. Both days constitute complete, separate and distinct dog shows with breed and group judging leading to the Best In Show culmination among seven dogs representing the different groups.
“As a non-profit with the mission of educating the public about dogs, we take very seriously the need to maintain family-friendly ticket prices,” offered Wayne Ferguson, President of the KCP. “Our attraction is wonderfully unique because the dogs are on hand all weekend long at benches for people to meet them and interact with their owners, handlers and breeders. It’s a rare opportunity to learn what kind of canine might be best-suited for their family.”
The show boasts a strong family entertainment value based on the ticket prices and Temple University Sports Industry Research Center surveys which determined that the average family stay at the dog show is 3.5 hours. That is about the length of time people spend at other major sports and entertainment attractions that carry much more expensive ticket prices.
The National Dog Show is one of the most prominent in the world because of its history dating back to the 1800s, its location in America’s fourth-largest market, and national television exposure on NBC, broadcasting the Saturday competition following the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The National Dog Show presented by Purina total audience exceeds 20 million every year, achieving a best-ever 2016 Nielsen rating of 5.9, higher than all but the most prominent sports and entertainment events on television.
Photo: National Dog Show