Dog lovers are invited to bring their four-legged friends to a fun day in Laurel for the Paws in the Park fundraiser, August 21. Held at Thompson Park (where they light off the fireworks on the 4th of July), the event is a fundraiser to help rebuild another popular spot in Laurel, the Kids Kingdom playground.

Photo by Michael Foth, Townsquare Media

Kids Kingdom is over 15 years old and is showing its wear.

The large, castle-style playground at Kiwanis Park (4th Ave and 11th St W) was constructed in 2005 and funded almost entirely by community donations. The structure is becoming worn and damaged in a number of areas, mainly from the elements, but perhaps some vandalism as well.  A big issue is the rotting support timbers visible on a number of the pieces.

Photo by Michael Foth, Townsquare Media

A dog walk, dog product vendors, food trucks and more on August 21.

Paws in the Park is from 8 AM to 11 AM and will feature a Cutest Dog Photo Contest, doggy bake sale items, food trucks (for their humans), and more. There is a $25 entry fee per dog, which includes a raffle ticket for great prizes.

Photo by Michael Foth, Townsquare Media

They've raised $107,000 of their $150,000 goal.

I spoke with Paws in the Park organizer Kara Thomae, who said they are close to hitting their fundraising goal, adding that when they reach $125,000 they can order the new playground equipment.  Hoping to break ground on the new playground as early as this fall, the remaining $25,000 will be raised to fund additional park amenities, such as picnic tables and benches. Thomae said that support from local businesses has been integral to their fundraising efforts.

Image courtesy Paws in the Park

Here's how to sign up for a fun dog day in the park.

Register for Paws in the Park HERE. If you would like to be a vendor, food truck, or help sponsor the event financially, contact Kara at 406-794-5456 or learn more at

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