National Dog Show Goes Forward this Thanksgiving, But Without Spectators

23 Nov, 2020

The Kennel Club of Philadelphia’s National Dog Show will go forward in 2020 with no spectators and with the approving guidance of regional health and safety authorities, the Kennel Club of Philadelphia announced. As usual, this holiday family favorite will air Thanksgiving Day (noon-2 p.m. in all time zones), Nov. 26, following the telecast of NBC’s “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.”

With full attention being given to state and local health and safety issues for activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, and under the guidance of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners and the Montgomery County Department of Health, a single, two-day show will be held on Nov. 14-15 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks.

In recent years, the club has conducted two separate dog shows during the big Philadelphia weekend, but this November the club will conduct just one show divided over those two days. The competition will be limited to some 600 dogs (200 each day), a decrease of 70% from the near-2000 entries usually on hand. Four groups will be judged on Saturday, with the remaining three plus Best In Show set for Sunday.

This year, there will be no spectators allowed and no vendors, sponsors or media on hand. The National Dog Show is one of only three benched shows in the United States, usually displaying the competing purebreds to the public all day long, but this year it will not be benched to ensure the safety of all participants.

Masks and hand sanitizer will be handed out, and mask-wearing and social distancing will be strictly enforced.  Medcor Inc. nurses will be present on-site to take the temperature of all participants. Only officials plus dogs and their handlers, NBC personnel and security will be permitted on the premises at the Expo Center.

The National Dog Show has been a beloved holiday tradition for families across the nation since its first broadcast in 2002. The show is part of a five-hour block of family programming on NBC, offering the country’s 65 million pet-owning households a full afternoon of fun entertainment while raising money for canine-related causes.

The Kennel Club of Philadelphia and its predecessors have been hosting shows since 1879 and continuously since 1934.

The National Dog Show begins at noon in all time zones immediately following the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Further information on the National Dog Show and the Kennel Club of Philadelphia Dog Shows can be obtained at

The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board (VFTCB) is a nonprofit, membership-based sales and marketing organization that actively promotes Valley Forge and Montgomery County, PA as a convention site and leisure visitor destination by encouraging patronage of its 600+ member hotels, restaurants, attractions, and services. The award-winning website links visitors, meeting planners, tour operators, and residents to a diverse portfolio of brands focused on reasons to visit the region.


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