"Bark in the Park" raises money for Peoria Humane Society

By Chad Weber

October 13, 2013 Updated Oct 16, 2013 at 10:58 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- It was a dog's day afternoon on the Peoria Riverfront Sunday.

The 17th annual "Bark in the Park" brought out thousands, along with their four-legged companions.

The event included demonstrations, contests, a dog walk, and over 20 local vendors.

Proceeds went to benefit the Peoria Humane Society.

Bark in the Park is the largest fundraising effort for this not-for-profit organization and helps support its many education and assistance programs.

"It's absolutely vital," said Executive Director of the the Peoria Humane Society Tom Van Winkle. "It really is. It's very expensive to run a humane society. The not fun part is the money part. The fun part is seeing the animals and knowing who you help and cuddling with the animals but the way we are able to do that, to keep our doors open is through money."

Van Winkle hoped to raise $30,000 dollars from Sunday's event.