Is there a fee or cost to come to Dog Bowl?
No – Dog Bowl is a FREE family fun festival. There are some costs involved with activity registration fees or the Pet Marketplace vendors but it does not cost anything to come and watch the events. Dogs are welcome and encouraged – please make sure they are up to date on vaccinations and on a leash at all times!
Where should I park? Is there handicap parking available?
Parking is available at Frankenmuth River Place Shops, 925 S. Main Street, along Weiss Street near Heritage Park, and throughout downtown Frankenmuth. Handicap parking is available on the south side of River Place Shops.

As always, parking is free at Frankenmuth Dog Bowl!

How late is Frankenmuth River Place Shops open during Dog Bowl?

Frankenmuth River Place Shops has special hours during the Dog Bowl festival. See below for opening and closing times:

  • Friday: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Saturday: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Sunday: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Memorial Day Monday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
May I bring my drone and fly it over the festival grounds?

No – please leave your drone at home out of consideration for our festival events and guests!

Balloons over Bavarian Inn is a sanctioned Federal Aviation Administration-regulated balloon event – drone flights are not allowed within 5 nautical miles of the River Place Shops field from Friday through Monday of Memorial Day weekend.

Competitive dog events also do not want drones flying due to the risk of the noise distracting their competing animals.

What restaurants near Dog Bowl have pet-friendly dining options?
There are several outdoor pet-friendly locations where you and your pet may dine! Visit our Plan Your Visit page for more information (Link to Plan Your Visit) or see our official Frankenmuth Dog Bowl brochure for food options throughout the festival grounds.

Please remember that state health codes do not allow non-service animals inside buildings where food is prepared and served.

When and where is the Pet Parade this year?
The annual Pet Parade will line up in the south parking lot of River Place Shops at 12:45 PM and begin at 1:00 PM. The parade will head north on Main Street, across the Covered Wooden Bridge and end near the Doggie Play Park in the east parking lot of River Place Shops!

Serving as the Grand Marshals are this year’s Dog Bowl King and Queen. It is free to participate – all dogs must be on leashes during the parade!

Is my dog allowed to participate and/or compete in any of the events?

Yes. Some events require early registration. Others you may register for on the day of the event. Please visit our events page for more information on how to register for different events.

Is there a place for my dog to play or rest at Dog Bowl?
Of course! There is a Doggie Play Park available for your furry friend to run around, relax and take a dip in a kiddie pool! This is free to use – however, dogs must be attended at all times and you must clean up after your pet. No worries, there are plenty of doggie poop bags available throughout the festival grounds.
What time are the different events? How do I sign my dog up?

All information regarding event times, registration and participation fees is available on the Events page! (Link to Events page) Events your dog can participate in include:

  • DockDogs
  • Disc Dogs
  • Dog Lovers Days Lure Course
  • Wiener Dog Races
  • Small and Big Doggie Fun Run Races
  • Silly Pet Tricks Contest
  • Best Doggie Costume Contest
  • Annual Canine Cruise on the Bavarian Belle Riverboat
  • Dog Breeds of the World Show
  • Barn Hunt
When is the Annual Canine Cruise and how do I get tickets?
Online registration opens in March for the Annual Canine Cruise aboard the Bavarian Belle Riverboat. Tickets cover one person and one dog for a 1-hour cruise down the Cass River; the dock is located on the north side of River Place Shops.
When is the fireworks show and where should I sit to view them?
Fireworks are always Sunday night at 9:45 p.m. after the Balloon Glow event. They are visible to the west over the River Place Shops rooftop. In rare cases of undesirable wind direction, the fireworks may be relocated to be launched from the baseball diamonds in Heritage Park, making the fireworks visible in the north sky.

The fireworks are visible from the Balloon Glow field and can also be viewed at various locations across Frankenmuth. The show is weather dependent.


Are balloon rides offered to the general public?
Typically, balloon rides are reserved for our generous sponsors. If you or your company would like to be a sponsor, please visit the Sponsors page. (Link to Sponsors page)

Some of our hot air balloon pilots do offer private rides at various costs outside of the Balloons Over Bavarian Inn event.

What time are the competitive flights and balloon glows?

Competitive flights during the Balloons Over Bavarian Inn take place Friday through Monday. Morning flights are anywhere between 6:00 AM and 8:00 AM. Evening flights are anywhere between 7:00 PM and 8:30 PM. Times may vary depending on the weather, winds, and approved launch time given to the pilots.

Balloon Glows are scheduled Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night from 9:00 PM until 10:00 PM at the River Place Shops field. These may change due to weather conditions. Watch the Balloons Over Bavarian Inn Twitter page for updates! 

Where do the balloons land?
Wherever they can! Pilots must find their own landing place while in the air looking down at the earth, so they avoid areas with power lines, trees, and buildings that they could hit with their balloon. Pilots usually pick large yards, unplanted fields, and sometimes even pavement! Before setting the balloon down, their crew will get permission from landowners.
What if it rains? Why did an event get canceled even though it is sunny?

All fights are weather dependent. If it is raining, balloon events will be canceled. It also may be too windy to fly; pilots participate in a weather briefing before each flight to confirm the safety before going up.

Keep up to date on the status of flights and glows by watching the Balloons Over Bavarian Inn Twitter page for updates or by calling the Bavarian Inn Lodge Operator at 989-652-7200. 

How do the hot air balloon pilots compete in the event?

Ballooning is a sport! This weekend’s event is a competition for the pilots. There are target made of cloth X’s that are laid out on the ground. The pilots are given bean bags with long tails attached to the end to throw from their balloon’s basket. Depending on where their bag land on the X, the pilots receive specific points. The points are then tallied up at the end of the event to determine the winners.

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