Cat lovers gather for the purrfect festival

Annual event celebrates felines in a new way

Lauren VonEschen

In mid-August, as people clad in cat costumes parade into St. Paul for the annual Cat Video Festival, senior Nitzana Flores said she finds herself most excited to spend her evening watching cute and funny cat videos. The Walker Art Center holds the festival for cat lovers to enjoy a evening filled with a variety of cat-themed videos and activities, including painting and puppet shows. Barb Abney, a DJ for the radio station 89.3, the Current, will host this year’s event. According to Rachel Joyce, assistant director of public relations at the Walker Art Center, thousands of people submit their cat videos online and later vote on the big attraction of the night, The Golden Kitty Award, which is given to the most popular video. The Internet Cat Video Festival in 2014 attracted over 10,000 people according to Joyce. Flores said she will be attending the festival for the first time this year. She is very excited not only to watch the cat videos, but to participate in other feline-themed activities throughout the evening.

“I heard that there are going to be some cool merchandise booths as well as some fun activities,” Flores said. “It should be crowded with a lot of people who are stoked to be there.”

Joyce said the festival’s friendly and exciting atmosphere allows for an enjoyable evening.

“I love watching people having so much fun together doing something that they usually do alone,” Joyce said. “It is very festive and lots of people actually come dressed as cats.”

According to Joyce, the festival won’t be the same as last year. In order to improve the experience, she said new activities were added and the location was changed.

“It’s the first year the festival will be held at the Cenex and Harvest States (CHS) fields. We will have photo ops, cat face painting, and cat-inspired yoga,” Joyce said.

Senior Marco Salazar said, as he preps for his first year at the festival, he’s looking forward to sharing this experience with his friends.

“Everybody is going to have a smile on their face and they are just going to enjoy themselves,” Salazar said. “It’s going to be a great atmosphere.”

The Internet Cat Video Festival takes place 6:30 p.m. Aug. 12 at the St. Paul Saints CHS Fields. Tickets are sold on the Walker Art Center’s official website and cost $10 for adults, $6 for children ages 6-12 and free for children 5 years and under.