KANKAKEE — The Kankakee Valley Park District held its inaugural Pup Pool Pawtie on Saturday at the newly renovated Splash Valley. More than 60 dogs and their owners took part in the festive event that ran for two hours.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Dayna Heitz, KVPD executive director. “It really was.”

The district held a short ceremony to commemorate 9/11, as the party was held on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“I want to thank Dayna for making the comments about 9/11,” said Ray Eads, board president. “I think sometimes we lose track for the real reason for our memorials and commemorations, and sometimes people need to be reminded of it.”

After a prize drawing at 10 a.m., the dogs were let loose into the pool with the playing of the song “Who Let the Dogs Out.”

Heitz said the park district plans to make the Pup Pool Pawtie an annual event. It will have to be held at the end of the season after the pool closes, as no humans are allowed to enter the pool after dogs have used the facility because of Illinois Department of Public Health regulations.

Eads said the dog party is an example of what makes the park district a good investment for the community.

“I go by the parks on a regular basis, and I see so many different groups in there enjoying them,” he said. “You look at the pool party we had and so many other things for dogs and for humans, and it’s just so many opportunities here in this community, whether we take advantage of them or not. And I really do believe we’re getting our money’s worth.”

Associate Editor

Chris Breach is the Associate Editor of The Daily Journal and the editor of the business section. A graduate of Indiana University, Breach has more than 25 years experience in newspapers. He can be reached at cbreach@daily-journal.com.