Wiener dog races aren’t really competitive. But they sure are entertaining.

Muenster’s Oktoberfest is this weekend so I told my husband we should dress up and crash the party. Well, I’d dress up, anyway. I look cute in a dirndl but no matter how much I try to coax him, my husband thinks he’d look like a dummkopf (fool) if he wore lederhosen.

Last year, he was occupied so I visited the festival on my own. It was Sunday afternoon, sunny but not too hot, and the Dachshunds were just about to begin their annual race.

And these Dachshunds were dressed for the occasion … sort of.

I think there was some sort of costume contest going on because most of them were dressed in outfits ranging from adorable to zany. There was one wearing yarn braids and a doggie-style dirndl. Another one had on a sarape and sombrero. Yet another wore a full rocket costume, complete with fabric flames shooting out the boosters. There was at least one wiener cowboy, too.

How the dogs’ owners kept those costumes in one piece is beyond me. Then again, we figured out how to dress up infants for Halloween. Babies must be at least as intractable as wiener dogs.

After the dogs paraded around the ring to show off their threads, the races begun.

I mean, officially. Not quite actually. Some of the dogs didn’t get the memo and ambled around the ring like they’d never heard of a finish line. And heaven help the dog that found a friend in the audience. But the rest of us got plenty of laughs from the distractible dogs to make up for their sleepy pace.

As I retold part of that story to my husband, he started grinning and insisted that of all the attractions at Oktoberfest, that’s the one he wanted to check out most. Move over, dirndl contest. Step aside, stein hoisting competition.

The wiener dog race is apparently where it’s at.

This year’s race is set for 2:15 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6, at Oktoberfest. A news article in this issue of the Register has more details about the festival.

Sarah Einselen is editor and general manager of the Gainesville Daily Register. Reach her at

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