CitizensVoice.com - Approximately 20 dachshunds competed in Saturday's second annual wiener dog races at the PA Oktoberfest at Pocono Downs.
The dogs scrambled through a field and over the finish line, amid the loud cheers of hundreds of spectators who took a break from sampling the food and beer tents scattered around the grounds.
The spectacle was a first for Hazleton resident Harry Hinkle, 56. "This is unbelievable," Hinkle said after a dog wearing a felt cowboy hat rushed passed him. "I've never seen anything like it. It's entertaining for the kids, entertaining for the adults."
Hinkle ignored advice from a friend and picked Saturday's reigning champion, Fritz, as the overall winner.
And Fritz did not disappoint. The brown, short-haired dachshund bested all other contenders, a fact that bolstered the hopes of the people who know him best.
Dunmore resident Scott Pearson, who is dating the niece of Fritz's owner, said he is already looking forward to seeing Fritz dominate in next year's wiener race.
"We're going for the three-peat," Pearson said. "It's going to be like Michael Jordan in his prime."
Hanover resident Mike Ungvarsky said he did not know what to expect from a wiener dog race. "It was definitely different," Ungvarsky said. "Different but pretty neat. I didn't know there were that many kinds of wiener dogs."
Austrian native Stefan Schiemer had also never seen a wiener dog race before but had a lot of fun, saying it was in keeping with his band's name, "Guat Drauf" who performed at the event on Saturday. "It means 'in a good mood,'" Schiemer said."So far, I think I can safely say I'm in a good mood."
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Written by Joseph Kohut
Photo by Eric Seidle