TRURO - Young Victoria MacKay gingerly reaches for a kitten to snuggle.
She is careful not to wrinkle her fairy-tale like dress or knock off the crown sitting high on her head. It’s the perfect picture of a princess and a beloved animal connecting.
That’s one of the messages the Colchester SPCA hopes to share with the public when it hosts its first-ever Royal Garden Park at Riverfront Park in Truro on Aug. 16. The gathering, which will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., is a fundraiser for the Truro-based animal shelter but also focuses on children as the theme revolves around princesses.
“I feel special” dressing up, said Victoria, a junior SPCA volunteer, while spending quality time with some of the animals at the shelter on Thursday.
“I like to help animals,” the youngster, seven, from Lower Onslow, added.
Sara Delaney, SPCA branch manager, said while the goal of the event is to raise money to help replace the shelter’s roof, it’s also to educate people, especially children, about caring for animals and preventing animal abuse.
“The roof will cost about $10,000 and we have about half of that now. It’s 12 years old and the shingles are breaking,” said Delaney. “But it’s about education too. Kids are going to be pet owners someday and we want to help them know how to take care of animals, get them spayed and neutered, don’t pull tails … it’s about respecting a life,” said Delaney.
Adding a princess theme just adds to the fun so it’s not “preaching,” said Delaney. There will be volunteers dressed up as Cinderella, Rapunzel, Belle, Ariel, Merida and Snow White – with the help of costumes from Cobequid Educational Centre – and others will don fancy dresses, which young girls attending the event are also encouraged to do.
Girls will receive a makeover by a fairy godmother and hair styling (bring your own brush). Youngsters will also be able to make crowns and necklaces, enjoy a treasure hunt, a target practice and snacks.
For boys, visor decorating and tattoos will be offered.
Tickets can be purchased at the Colchester SPCA, Central Nova Animal Hospital and Heavenly Crumbs Bakery for $40 for one princess and $30 for each additional princess. A rain date for the event will be Aug. 17 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.