The city has designated festival districts for two events in May, meaning no pets or other animals are allowed within the established boundaries of the district.
The events and festival district boundaries are:
• Downtown Art Fair & Winefest May 17-19 — Boundaries are Second Street on the south, Front Street on the north, Cedar Street on the west and Lafayette Street on the east. This designation will be in effect from noon May 17 through 8 p.m. May 19.
• Sunset on the Riverfront Thursday, May 23 — Boundaries are the Rennick Riverfront Park grounds north of the railroad tracks.
People bringing animals to festival events first will be given a warning to remove the animal. If they don’t comply they will be subject to arrest under city codes and could face penalties of up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $500.
The law does not apply to animals on private property within a festival district’s boundaries.
“This designation helps insure the safety of all citizens attending the event,” stated Washington Police Chief Ken Hahn. “Animals can become very excited in large crowds and may instinctively bite someone even though they are usually very docile. This exact thing happened at one of our prior festivals,” Hahn said.