Mild seasons and lush outdoor spaces make Aiken a popular destination in many circles, but one crowd in particular took advantage of both this weekend: our favorite four-legged friends and their humans! On Saturday, October 18, families and their pets gathered for an afternoon of fun and companionship at the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare in Aiken, for its second annual Barkaritaville and Twilight Walk.

This year’s event, which benefits SPCA services like caring for homeless animals, spaying and neutering, and adoption events to rehome displaced pets, created a cozy festival atmosphere for guests to enjoy. The Albrecht Center’s parking lot filled up with themed pet-friendly booths, ranging from Mexico and Puerto Rico to “Starbark’s,” circus theme, and upscale Greek. Each booth provided treats for both humans and pets, and a beverage to match each theme.  Live music from the band Live Like Larry created a lively backdrop to the day’s events, which transitioned directly into the one-mile Twilight Walk that encircled the Albrecht Center.

Guests were most excited to come out and see pets dressed in costumes, both spooky and silly! Barbara Nelson, CEO of the Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, commented “The SPCA isn’t just a place for looking at animals and being unhappy; it’s a happy place that can make people happy!” Since Aiken’s chapter of the SPCA opened their new facility in 2012, it has been refreshing to the Aiken community to find exactly that, and this event was an exciting reminder that the SPCA has replaced the sadness of homeless animal shelters with a warm and happy one that excites visitors about the possibilities of bringing home a new family member.

Thanks to Maayan Schechter with the Aiken Standard from photos of Saturday’s event. For more information on the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, making donations, or volunteering, visit, or stop by the facility at 119 Willow Run Road in Aiken.



Lindsey Scavone