With the National Dog Show planning a full-scale return to normal in November, tickets are now on sale for the annual canine extravaganza at www.nds.nationaldogshow.com. Dog Show Weekend runs November 19-20 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks and ticket prices are $16 for adults, $7 for children ages 4-11 with free admission for children three years and under. Parking is also free.
The annual Kennel Club of Philadelphia (KCP) extravaganza remained without spectators in 2020 and was only admitted for vaccinated last year. Organizers continue to adhere to health and safety recommendations and, like other sporting and entertainment events, the show provides the full range of attractions. In recent years, before the pandemic, the weekend drew up to 15,000 family and dog-lover attendees to the Oaks Expo Center.
The KCP now operates one of only two remaining “bench” exhibits in the United States (San Francisco), allowing visitors to find all breeds in designated locations throughout the day. This unusual aspect of the show and the affordable ticket prices are in keeping with KCP’s mission to educate the public about responsible pet parenting and the wonder of dogs.
The Saturday show is taped by NBC to air on Thanksgiving Day from noon to 2 p.m. in all time zones. The KCP show originated in 1879 and has been streaming since 1933. The NBC television special airs regionally on NBC 10 and is America’s biggest showcase for man’s best friend. The National Dog Show presented by Purina has been on the air since 2002.
The KCP expects an entry of some 2,000 dogs from more than 190 breeds on Saturday with a similar number on Sunday. Both days are 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 organization with a mission to educate the public about dogs, we take the need to maintain family-friendly ticket prices very seriously,” said KCP President Wayne Ferguson. “Our attraction is wonderfully unique because the dogs are there all weekend on benches for people to meet and interact with their owners, handlers and breeders. It’s a rare opportunity to learn what type of dog suits the better to their family.
The show features strong family entertainment value based on 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’s about the time people spend at other major sporting and entertainment attractions that have much higher ticket prices.
The National Dog Show is one of the largest in the world due to its history dating back to the 1800s, its location in America’s fourth largest market, and the nationally televised exhibition on NBC, airing the Saturday competition after the parade of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day. The total audience for the National Dog Show presented by Purina exceeds 20 million each year, achieving the highest Nielsen rating of 5.9 in 2016, higher than all but the largest televised sporting and entertainment event.
Photo: National Dog Show