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Service Animals are welcome.  Emotional Support Animals, Therapy Dogs, and pets are not. Period.


Service Animals are specially trained to perform a task for a person with a disability.  They are allowed to be at the Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival because of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), and Hiawatha welcomes them.  If you will be attending the Festival with a Service Animal, we would like to know ahead of time so that our team of volunteers can expect to see you with an animal and can offer additional support or assistance to make your experience as a festival-goer as effortless as possible.  We realize this is not a requirement, but ask only so we can prepare for your unique Festival experience.

Emotional Support Animals do not qualify as Service Animals.  Neither do Therapy Dogs, or other pets. These animals, although dear to you, are not legal Service Animals under the ADA, are not welcome at the Festival, and should be left at home or in a boarding facility.  Jackets or vests, harnesses, leashes, or certification cards/documents identifying your animal as a Service Animal DO NOT qualify your animal for accomodations under the ADA.  Those certifications will grant you accomodations under the Fair Housing Act, and not the ADA.  The Fair Housing Act applies to landlord/tenant issues, not a music festival.

In Michigan, there are laws against falsely representing an Emotional Support Animal, Therapy Dog, or other pet as an ADA Service Animal, and the penalties are any or all of the following:

1) 90 days in jail;

2) $500 fine; and/or

3) 30 days of community service. 

MCL Section 753.63 or MCL Section 37.307

Festival patrons who bring in any type of animal other than an ADA Service Animal will be asked to remove the animal or leave the Festival, will not be granted a refund, and will be denied entry to the Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival in the future. Hiawatha has the right to pursue the consequences above to the fullest extent of the law. 

Our staff and volunteers are trained to know the behaviors of a real Service Animal.  They understand that a Service Animal: 

   *  is with the owner/handler 24/7;

   *  attends only to the owner/handler;

   *  does not bark, whine, growl;

   *  does not become excited or anxious when encountering squirrels, chipmunks, other dogs, other people;

   *  does not seek attention from the owner/handler or other people;

   *  does not jump up on the owner/handler or other people;

   *  does not startle or appear fearful;

   *  walks calmly on a leash; and

   *  is able to remain still for a long period of time.

If an animal in your company exhibits behaviors that are not aligned with those listed above, you will be asked to either remove your animal from the Festival or for you to leave the Festival entirely.  You will not receive a refund.  Your name will be added to our Deny Entry list for future Festivals.

Please don't attempt to conceal your pet in your tent, vehicle, or camper.  That is a very bad idea for many reasons and could be construed as animal cruelty.  The consequence will be removal from the Festival with no refund, and denial of entry for future Festivals.

The Festival experience of many people is affected adversely when these rules are ignored, pushed, or broken. Please don't be the reason you and others around you go home with a negative feeling about the Festival that springs from your animal being where it should not have been in the first place.