Dashing doxies, winning weens

Wienie-themed festival has legs in 15th year

Wienerfest continues celebration of the dachshund
By Ethan Andrews | Sep 10, 2018
Photo by: Ethan Andrews A dachshund in a Ghostbusters costume stretches out on the Belfast waterfront Sept. 9 during the 15th annual Maine Wienerfest.

Belfast — Maine Wienerfest marked its 15th year on Sept. 9, proving that the novelty of hundreds of dachshunds in one place, in costumes and racing against one another, will never get old.

Sunday was seasonably cool and sunny, and Steamboat Landing Park was teaming with hot dogs — minis, standards, smooths, wire- and long-hairs — accompanied by owners, plenty of curious spectators and enough other dog breeds to maintain the astigmatic effect of gazing upon animals bred to be the length and girth of a badger hole.

Dachshunds at this year's event arrived from as far away as Idaho, Oregon and Hawaii, and Master of Ceremonies Tim Woitowitz shouted them out by their far-flung origins.

Daring dachshunds dolled up for the Canine Costume Competition and set stubby legs sprinting in the "Doxie Derby," a straight race that often saw dogs running in every direction.

A Grand Parade opening the event featured 130 dachshunds marching down the waterfront promenade, with many more in the wings. Organizers didn't count human attendees, but The Republican Journal estimated the crowd at about 700 people midway through the event, a fundraiser for P.A.W.S. Animal Adoption Center.

Maine Wienerfest mascot Pete leads a parade of dachshunds Sept. 9 at Steamboat Landing Park in Belfast. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Melissa Curry of Searsport holds her dachshund Jax, dressed in Sons of Anarchy gear for a costume contest at Maine Wienerfest. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
A jockey on a doxie at the Maine Wienerfest costume contest Sept. 9. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Maddy walks long-haired dachshund Dezi at Maine Wienerfest Sept. 9. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
A dachshund in a flannel coat marches in a parade on the Belfast waterfront Sept. 9 during Maine Wienerfest. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Daisy, a Pomeranian, peeks out of the backpack of Jamie MacDonnell Sept. 9, while Doug, a dachshund in a lion's mane, takes in the scene at Maine Wienerfest. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Bessie, a dachshund masquerading as a cow, sits with her owner Daphene Pelletier of Milford Sept. 9 at the start of the Maine Wienerfest costume competition. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Costume competition contestants wait to be judged at Maine Wienerfest Sept. 9. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
A long-haired dachshund cruises the Belfast waterfront Sept. 9 during the dog parade kicking off the 15th annual Maine Wienerfest. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
A pack of dachshunds crowds the sidewalk at Steamboat Landing Park in Belfast during a parade for "hot dogs" Sept. 9 at Maine Wienerfest. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Lisa Ireland of Arundel with her dachshunds Chuckie, front, and Tucker, at Maine Wienerfest Sept. 9. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
A front-runner flies toward the finish line at the Maine Wienerfest "Doxie Derby" dachshund races Sept. 9 on the Belfast waterfront. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Wiener winner "Matt" receives his medal after a heat in the "Doxie Derby" races Sept. 9 at the 15th annual Maine Wienerfest. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Doug plays it cool in a lion's mane at Maine Wienerfest Sept. 9. The dachshund came to the annual gathering with owners Amy and Jamie MacDonnell of Lisbon. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Two dachshunds race in the "Doxie Derby" at Maine Wienerfest Sept. 9 in Belfast. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Owners urge their dogs toward the finish line during a "Doxie Derby" Sept. 9 at Maine Wienerfest. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Tim Woitowitz wields a wireless microphone Sept. 9 as the roving emcee of Maine Wienerfest. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
A spectator in a hot dog tank top watches dachshunds race Sept. 9 at Maine Wienerfest. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Dachshund-themed trophies at Maine Wienerfest Sept. 9. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Annette Dunkelman and her "bad dog" Mark were in Belfast from Providence, R.I., Sept. 9 for Maine Wienerfest. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
A dachshund sneaks into the "Doxie Derby" race area Sept. 9 at Maine Wienerfest in Belfast. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
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