For the next five days, the Salem Civic Center is home to hundreds of adorable, furry faces for the longest running sporting event in the Roanoke Valley. The Roanoke Kennel Club Dog show is a big hit in Salem.
Roanoke Kennel Club President Mary Welch says its something everyone can enjoy.
"Everybody loves dogs. Everybody has a favorite breed of dog." The show offers 180 breeds to choose from.
Its a place where hundreds of dog lovers from all over the United States primp their pets to see who is best in show.
"Its one of the largest on the east coast. It's a five day dog show cluster so people come, they get a motel or they stay in an RV in the parking lot," Welch said.
Welch says that each day the dogs bring in around six hundred people; that's not counting the spectators. It's event like these that are responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of revenue during the month of July.
Melinda Payne, Salem's Director of Planning and Economic Development says that 400,000 thousand people travel to the city of Salem during the month of July alone.
That's twelve times the cities population and two thirds more than the cities next largest two months, May and December.
Beyond Baxter, baseball means big bucks for the city. The Salem Red Sox sell a little over one thousand tickets per game.
Another big event at the Salem Civic Center is the Gun and Knives show which brought in more than three thousand people.
The biggest event of all continues to be the Salem Fair. Thirteen days long, the fair brings in a whopping three hundred thousand people.
Melinda Payne smiles while reporting those numbers.
"So when you look at everything that's going on in the city of Salem, a lot of things happen during the month of July," Payne said.
Events that attract tourists and hopefully repeat customers.
"Its not so much the money that we make, but the total economic impact of all of the business that have the opportunity to make something from these events. Those businesses contribute to our bottom line and help keep things rolling." Payne said.
With almost the entire month booked with annual events, it's a time of year that Salem will continue to county on. You might even say July is "Best in Show."