I am Ben Friedman, founder of this event.
In 1993, I was the manager of a friendly
neighborhood bar called "The Local
Option" located in the Lincoln Park area of
Chicago. My pug, Knuckles, worked with me at the bar where he would greet and visit with the customers. We worked there from 1987 through 1999. He developed quite a following and prompted a few customers to get Pugs of their very own.
One year we had a birthday party for
Knuckles and there were 5 or 6 Pugs in
attendance. It was great fun and most
humorous. It was after that party that it dawned on me to have gatherings several times a year. Let's see how many Pugs we can get together. I thought if we ever got 50 that would be unbelievable. Six years later, the mailing list has grown to 700
people. I have approximately 350 Pugs in the Chicagoland area. When we get
together, which is 2 times a year, we have between 250 and 300 Pugs showing up. The events are coming in to the city with their families from downstate Illinois, northern Indiana, southern Wisconsin and
surrounding suburbs. It's great, and I am happy everyone has such a fantastic time. I have had 3 Pugs of my own, spanning over 40 years. First was "Ching" in 1966. Followed by "Knuckles" & "CurlyJoe."
I go way back with these beasts.
Maybe that is why I have become the
"Pied Piper of Pugs". It's a good thing.
I would like to thank all those who attend and participate at these gatherings. It has been a lot of silly fun.
Stay in touch for info on bigger and better Pug Parties!