Top Dog: Dachshund Derby returns to Oktoberfestival

Top Dog: Dachshund Derby returns to Oktoberfestival
Published: Sep. 18, 2022 at 9:46 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 18, 2022 at 11:36 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (KBJR) - Sunday marked the final day of Duluth Oktoberfestival and the return of the fan-favorite event, the Dachshund Derby.

For many Northlanders, a day at Duluth Oktoberfestival is a big party.

But Sunday, it was race day for some furry, four-legged attendees.

“We got 32 dachshunds registered for the Dachshund Derby this year,” said Ryan Kern, Kern and Kompany President.

Kern is an event organizer for the Dachshund Derby, a multi-round, short-distance dog race at Oktoberfestival, celebrating the Dachshund breed’s close connection to Germany.

“These little weiner dogs, those dachshunds they get going pretty fast and they can cover that 40 yards pretty quick time,” said Kern.

Speed, athleticism, and focus seemed to vary in this year’s field of competitors.

Although the winner was crowned at the finish line, some competitors chose to take a different route instead finishing the race back at the starting line.

“We did do a little bit of a practice run. But yeah, he has the attention span about the size of a pea,” Ashlee Beck said.

Beck and her dog Arlee chose to focus on style more than speed.

“They said costumes welcome, we had to dress the part,” Beck said.

This year’s winner, Poppy, is owned by Duluth City Councilor-at-Large Terese Tomanek.

“This is just really the highlight of our week,” said Tomanek.

Tomanek said she met Poppy on the campaign trail.

“We were so fortunate to meet Poppy when I was out door knocking last November for my campaign, and we ended up adopting her,” Tomanek said.

According to Tomanek, she utilized a unique training process to get Poppy ready for the big race.

“The training process was a lot of bacon this morning,” Tomanek said.

According to organizers, many of Sunday’s festivities at Oktoberfestival were part of the Essentia Health Family Day.

Other activities included a bounce house and a petting zoo for kids.