Sylva, N.C. May 6, 2013—The first annual Humane Society of Jackson County (ARF) Woofstock took place on May 4, 2013 in downtown Sylva, starting with its Barbecue Cook-off contest at the Sylva Bridge Park and progressing to Soul Infusion for a winetasting and multi-band musical event. Dogs and owners braved threatening weather for this community driven fundraiser.

Julie Sylvester and Emily Elders of Pinnacle events, the organizers of the event, were thrilled with volunteer and community turnout, especially considering the weather. While bands such as Rick Balliot and the Blue Experience, Blues Mountain, The Sylva Jazz Band, PMA. Local and Porch 40 entertained the crowds, dogs and children took turns being photographed, playing with hula hoops and taking in the wonderful sounds and smells by volunteer chefs from Al’s BBQ and More, Mainstreet Bakery, Soul Infusion, City Lights Cafe, Dillsboro Smokehouse, WNC Pediatrics, Lil Harvey’s and Sundog Places. Cook-off contestants’ offerings included ribs, barbecued pork, beef and chicken, and even some vegan options. The cook-off event also benefited from volunteer efforts and donations from Catman2, Wal-mart.

When the rain started to come down, it was time for the next phase of the day: a wine, cheese and chocolate tasting at Soul Infusion, featuring wonderful cheeses, hand-selected chocolates and dog-themed wineries. Dark Cove Pottery and Farm, Yellow Branch Farm, Dillsboro Chocolate Factory, Jack the Dipper, The Sylva Herald, Soul Infusion and Kelly Jewel-Timco were among Woofstock’s other donors and day sponsors.

All proceeds were generously donated to the Humane Society of Jackson County (ARF), which has served the region for more than thirty years, providing rescue and adoption services, transporting dogs to no-kill adoption partners in New England, and providing low-cost spay and neuter services. Currently, ARF has a $20,000 PetSmart Charities grant to provide free spay/neuter and rabies vaccinations for residents of Cullowhee, including Tuckaseege and Little Canada areas. Since 2007, ARF has helped 3057 animals through its spay/neuter program, transported 758 animals to its northern adoption partners, and placed 630 dogs and 318 cats through local adoption. “Few people realize how much it costs to rescue, spay, or transport a single dog or cat,” explained Veronica Nicholas, the group’s co-founder and president. “Until we can develop sensible spay/neuter policies in this county, far too many animals will need our help. We couldn’t do it without the generous help of our community supporters and friends.”

ARF would like to congratulate the winners of this year’s cook-off contest:

  • 1st Place Pork: WNC Pediatrics
  • 1st Place Chicken: Soul Infusion
  • 1st Place Veggie: City Lights Cafe
  • 1st Place Sauce: WNC Pediatrics
  • 2nd Place Pork: Soul Infusion
  • 2nd Place Chicken: Al’s BBQ & More
  • 2nd Place: Veggie: Sundog Places and Lil Harvey’s Cakes & Catering
  • 2nd Place Sauce: Al’s BBQ and More
  • 3rd Place Pork: Dillsboro Smokehouse
  • 3rd Place Chicken: Sundog Places and Lil Harvey’s Cakes & Catering
  • 3rd Place Veggie: Al’s BBQ and More
  • 3rd Place Sauce: Mainstreet Bakery

Volunteers are already looking forward to next year’s Woofstock, which promises to become a tradition in Jackson County.

For more information about volunteer opportunities, spay/neuter services, dog training or pet adoption, please call 877-ARF-JCNC (877-273-5262), or visit You can also “like” ARF by finding its facebook page: