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‘World’s Ugliest Dog Contest’ returns to the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma Friday

For three decades, the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma has celebrated lovable, but ugly, pups in the beloved “World’s Ugliest Dog Contest.”

After two years of pandemic-related cancellations, the contest returns to the fair Friday, with several so-ugly-they’re-adorable dogs competing for the sought-after title.

The event, which is included in the price of admission, begins at 3 p.m. with a Pet Fest at the fair’s Kiwanis Stage lawn, where the public can get an eyeful of the contestants and information on pet care and adoption. From there, the dogs partake in a red carpet walk at 5:30 p.m. and the judging kicks off at 6 p.m.

One ugly dog will walk away with the grand prize of $1,500. The contest also has a special “Spirit Award” which will be based in part on the dog’s life story, and the “People’s Choice” award, selected by the public on the fair’s website.

The contest’s last winner was Scamp the Tramp, a small mutt with dreadlocks owned by a Santa Rosa woman, who took the top prize in 2019. See past winners here.

The Sonoma-Marin Fair runs through June 26 at 175 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma. Noon to 11 p.m. each day. Tickets cost $14-$20. For more information, go to sonoma-marinfair.org.

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