FLAGLER BEACH, Fla. (June 8, 2024) – Drawing the largest number of participants to date, the third annual Hang 8 Dog Surfing Extravaganza packed Flagler Beach with fans, families, and curious onlookers. The event, which has generated national interest, even drew spectators by boat who were anchored offshore to watch big dogs, little dogs, and dogs with people surfing the gentle waves.

Organizers Eric Cooley and Suzie Johnston made several changes to this year’s event that gave it a more festival style feel, featuring about two dozen dog-themed businesses along the boardwalk. They took the extravaganza to the next level by adding the HT Production Company stage for the dog costume contest and award ceremony.

“We had the most vendors. We did a different layout from the previous years with the vendors up on the boardwalk and that gave more room for spectators because this event draws a very large crowd every year,” said Johnston.

Locally made, the coveted awards shimmered in the sunlight for participants to admire.

“We pride ourselves in our trophies because they’re beautiful,” shared Johnston.

“This year the surfboards, the resin surfboards, were made by Jackie Andrews with Chimes and More, and The Flipflop Guys painted the resin surfboards and they’re glittered, and they’ve just got beautiful artwork and design and fonts on them, and it’s very exciting. Everyone loves to receive our trophies. That’s what makes the whole event.”

Johnston was pleased with the event’s turnout.

“It’s the biggest event we’ve had thus far. We’ve had the most dogs competing this year. We had more dogs competing in the surfing than the costume contest. We had eighteen dogs surfing,” she added.

While the ocean was calm, it turned out to be perfect for the canines and their companions as it did not overtax them in the heat. Many went on to compete in the costume contest where some very creative themes were on display. A bevy of pirates to mermaids made appearances alongside Zeus who was dressed as a slice of pizza and Minus, the peg-leg pirate.

One of the event’s most creative costumes featured a mermaid, Dixie, whose costume was made from the recycled glass from Flagler Beach’s recycled glass program. After announcing the winners, the day culminated with an afterparty at Good Times Dog Bar.

The event’s main goal is to raise funds for three canine nonprofits, K9’s for Warriors, the Flagler Humane Society, and S.M.A.R.T. Pet Rescue, which stands for Saving the Animals Response Team.

PalmCoastNow.com contributed to this report.