Celtic Club reschedules St. Pet’s Day due to weather conditions



Kate Kelly

The Celtic Club’s ninth annual St. Pet’s Day was postponed due to weather conditions and is rescheduled for April 13 at Fred Fuller Park in Kent.

The rescheduled event, St. Pet’s Day Crooked River Pet Walk, will have participants and their pets walk along the Cuyahoga River pathway from Fred Fuller Park to Tannery Park to raise awareness and donations for humane and pet rescue groups.

“Our original event was going to happen despite the weather,” said Jim Collver, head of the Celtic Club of Ohio. “It was 26 degrees that day and pouring rain. We got a decent turn out, about 35 dogs, but I still wanted to hold a big event for a good cause, and I had a new location in mind. We just would have to change everything around because it wasn’t a St. Patrick’s Day theme anymore.”

The original event, St. Pet’s Day Pet Parade, was held in downtown Kent at the Hometown Bank Plaza March 16. This was the first year they were going to do a parade and require all the participants and their pets to dress up to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

“I love the idea of people and their pets all in green, but the wind was so bad, you could hardly stand up,” Collver said. “I figured it is a month later, and we are in a more protected area. The parks are so beautiful, the dogwoods are just beginning to bloom, and it should be really nice.”

Fred Fuller Park is located at 497 Middlebury Rd. in Kent. Collver said everyone will meet with their pets around 1 p.m. and walk on the nature trail along the river to Tannery Park and back.

The event is in the memory of Tom Erikson, who was a radio host on WNIR who recently died after battling an infection. He was a huge pet advocate and supporter of his family’s pet rescue group, Heaven Can Wait, located in Akron.

“I spoke to him once last year on his show before he passed,” Collver said. “He really loved animals and really supported his family’s pet rescue group, so I figured what better person?”

Erikson’s daughter, Heather Nagel, says her pet rescue group takes animals from shelters that have been surrendered from their owners. Erikson used his local celebrity status and voice to raise awareness and provide homes for these animals.

“It’s still so hard on the family since he is gone,” Nagel said. “He is missed by his family and the community. He was involved with animal rights for 30 years, and the community generally relied on him to get the message out.”

Erikson’s legacy lives on in his daughter and she continues to run Heaven Can Wait and donate her time and energy to animals in need of homes.

“Heaven Can Wait is very small, and we rely on the community and donations to support us and to continue our mission,” Nagel said. “We get a lot of donated food from St. Pet’s Day. That is why we appreciate people like Jim and the public that do this to keep our animals fed.”

Admission to the event is free, but the Celtic Club encourages participants to bring cat food, dog food or cat litter to donate to humane and pet rescue groups.

Visit St. Pet’s Day on Facebook for more information or call the Celtic Club at (330) 867-0485.

Contact Kate Kelly at [email protected].