Cars for Critters to attract flocks of critter lovers to ONWR

Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Association is hosting the sixth annual benefit car show, Cars for Critters, on Sunday, Sept. 29, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  

“Last year was our most successful event to date, bringing in a record 225 cars,” said Assistant Refuge Manager Eddy Pausch.  “The sixth annual Cars for Critters is expected to shatter records again. We are doubling the hayride tours on the refuge this year, which has been by far our most popular family attraction.”

Bring your family and friends to check out wildlife-themed car classes, such as best mammal (Impala, Mustang), best bird (Skylark, Thunderbird), best reptile (Cobra, Viper) and many more. Car registration is just $13 and is held from 9 a.m. to noon. Judging is people’s choice from noon to 2 p.m.  

In addition to all the classic cars, there will be live critters. Back to the Wild, a nonprofit wildlife rehabilitation center, will have bald eagles, hawks, owls, flying squirrels and other native wildlife on display. Proceeds from Cars for Critters will benefit wildlife rehabilitation and environmental education.

Cars for Critters will feature many family fun activities during the event. There will be tethered hot air balloon rides (weather permitting), hayride tours through the refuge, DJ Cruisin Zeake spinning tunes, the Auto Tour will be open, food and drinks available for purchase, door prizes, and “Puddles” the Blue Goose, the National Wildlife Refuge System’s mascot, will be there to meet and greet. 

Don't have a car to show but want to check out the cars and critters?  You’re invited. Cars for Critters is open to the public and admission is free.  

Check out our completely remodeled website,, for a current calendar of public programming.  All programs offer insight into the National Wildlife Refuge System and encourage stewardship of Ohio’s native wildlife and their habitats. 

All events are free and take place at the Visitor Center unless otherwise noted. Call (419) 898-0014 for more information.

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