Skunk Fest Returns to North Ridgeville on Saturday to Celebrate Skunks


  • Vice Screenshot
For those unaware, there is a massive community of people that keep de-scented skunks as pets, not unlike a traditional house cat. The practice is so popular, there is an annual gathering of owners and enthusiasts in North Ridgeville, which also serves as the largest skunk convention in the world.

The event benefits Skunk Haven, a nonprofit shelter and educational center in North Ridgeville. What started as a backyard picnic by skunk enthusiast and rescuer, Deb Cipriani, now draws more than 1,000 people a year with many traveling from other states or countries. Last year, Vice visited Skunk Fest and made a mini-doc about the event.

Visitors can see and learn about the varieties of skunk including
apricot, brown and albino. That's right, skunks are more than just black and white. Games and competitions for humans and skunks alike are available, including a "best detective competition" — where the fastest skunk to find a bag of vegetables wins. The yearly costume contest is sure to be a crowd favorite as well as the crowning of the Skunk Fest 2018 king, queen, prince and princess.

More than 40 vendors, including other animal shelters like California Animal Rescue and Ferrets Unlimited, and businesses like Unique Home Solutions and Cutco Cutlery will be on hand and attendees can can get their picture taken with a skunk, along with a donation to Skunk Haven.

The event is free to the public, although organizers do encourage a donation of cash, grain-free cereal, grain-free dog food, blankets or paper towels to benefit Skunk Haven. No pets are allowed with the exception of skunks. Skunk Fest takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in South Central Park in North Ridgeville.

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