Feature Story And Photos by Larry H. Oskin

Friends of Lake Louisa State Park held their annual Poochapalooza pet event. Local residents brought their dog out to play in the park with a day of fun activities. Despite the off and on rain drizzles, plenty of dog lovers visited the event with exhibitors, sponsors and vendors, shop for pet treats, supplies, and new pet outfits. Some came to adopt a rescue dog, grab a bite to eat from the food trucks and enter drawings to win great prizes. All proceeds went to benefit Lake Louisa State Park.

Poochapalooza Organizers Amy and Christy

Poochapalooza organizers Christy and Amy noted, “We are so pleased and proud to be able to hold this South Lake event every year! We are already making plans for our February 19, 2022 event next year.” They also have plans at Lake Louisa Park for a Nature Fest, a 5K run and many other events for family fun.

Swift Paws organized a very fun dog run, with all proceeds being donated back to Friends of Lake Louisa State Park. The money raised from this event will help towards building new playgrounds, boardwalk walkways, other events and a variety of community educational programs. They have a long-term goal to build a new pavilion that will be available at a scenic park location for special events, parties and weddings.


Lake Louisa State Park is a 4,372-acre park located at 7305 Highway 27, in Clermont, FL 34714, in the northeast corner of the Green Swamp and the southwestern shore of Lake Louisa. It is made up of bald cypress, live oak and saw palmettos. They offer camping, glamping, horseback riding, kayak tours, canoeing, fishing and guided hiking walks as well as equipment and 20 very nice vacation cabin rentals. Like most of Florida’s state parks, this park is open from 8 AM to sunset every day of the year.

Lake Louisa State Park is a short drive from Orlando, noted for its 6 beautiful lakes, rolling hills, scenic landscapes walking and biking trails. Lake Louisa is the largest in a chain of 13 lakes connected by the Palatlakaha River, which is designated as an Outstanding Florida Waterway. Lake Louisa, Dixie Lake and Hammond Lake, the park’s most accessible lakes with access for fishing, canoeing and kayaking. Anglers can fish in four of the park’s six lakes. Only boats powered by trolling motors or without motors are permitted. Gasoline-powered boats are not allowed. Camping facilities and more than 15 miles of horse trails are available for equestrians. For hikers and backpackers, the park has over 20 miles of hiking trails with excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing. Dixie Lake has a fishing pier, canoe/kayak launch and a picnic pavilion. Lake Louisa has many types of wildlife at the park, including a wide array of butterflies and birds.

Friends of Lake Louisa State Park (FOLLSP): If you can volunteer for a couple hours at Lake Louise State Park, they will guarantee you will have loads of fun, get dirty and go home with a sense of accomplishment. Hours are very flexible and they are willing to fit into your schedule.  If you want to be a butterfly gardener, join them once a month at the Ranger Station Butterfly Garden to help maintain their ADA Compliant Butterfly Garden. You can volunteer to help at FOLLSP Fundraisers. They need help at the registration desk, parking, pre-event set up, getting fliers out and more.  Become a hometown Park Hero. Volunteer Day happens every April. Volunteer Groups meet to work on Park Projects like pulling invasive plants, painting, repairing things and more! Its hands on, outdoors and fun. Visit: https://llsp.org/Volunteer. FOLLSP is a 501-C3 non-profit organization.

Poochapaolooza is a free annual event. You merely need to pay for the park entrance fee for your carful of visitors. To get involved and sign up for next year’s February 2022 event, visit https://llsp.org/.

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