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Doggone good time
Stafford Oktoberfest to feature annual Wiener Dog Races
dogs race
Dachsunds race at a previous Stafford Oktoberfest Wiener Dog Race. The annual event will be held on Saturday at the Stafford County Fairgrounds. More than 100 dogs are expected this year. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

Saturday’s Schedule
8:30 a.m.— 2 mile walk/5K run, Main, Stafford
10 a.m.-4 p.m.—Parade line-up, Broadway at Buffalo St.; Medallion Hunt Clue; Methodist Church Book Sale; Crafts, Food Vendors
10:30 a.m.—Children’s Parade line-up, Bowling Alley
11 a.m.— Main Street Parade; Beer Garden, City Office
11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.—Wiener dog registration, Fairgrounds
11:30 a.m.—Big Boys Toy Show, S. Main
11:30 a.m.—Petting Zoo, Post Office
11:30 a.m.—Salsa Contest Begins, Main St.
11:30 a.m.—Kids Zone
1 p.m. — Horseshoe Tournament, Chamber Park
1 p.m.—Cow Pie Bingo, Stage
2 p.m.—Wiener Dog Races, Fairgrounds
Noon—National Anthem
12:15 p.m.—Vietnam War Plaque
12:30 p.m.—Allison Lowther
12:45 p.m.—Dance Class
1:10 p.m.—Jewelz
1:55 p.m.—Great Bend Zoo
2:45 p.m.—Stafford’s Training to Lead
3 p.m.—Salsa Winners Announced
3:05 p.m.—Cosmosphere Rocket Demo
4 p.m.—Cutest Baby Contest, Prizes
5:30 p.m.—Stafford Alumni Banquet, Trojan Hall
5:30 p.m. — Kids Movie, Ritz Theater
7:30 p.m. — Kids Movie, Ritz Theater
7:30 p.m. — Fiddlin’ Around, Gathering Place
8 p.m.—Chesterfield Bridge & Blues on the Side, VFW

STAFFORD — The state’s largest Wiener Dog Race will move to the Stafford County Fairgrounds during Stafford’s Oktoberfest Saturday.
A salsa contest, a downtown parade, medallion hunt, food vendors, horseshoes, children’s games and entertainment will also be featured. Oktoberfest buttons for $3 help pay for the event.
More than 100 dachshunds are expected in the Stafford Oktoberfest Wiener Dog Races Saturday. Final registration runs from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m. Saturday and racing starts at 2 p.m. at the Stafford County Fairgrounds.
Julynn Kisner started the Wiener Dog Races seven years ago to attract a new audience for Stafford’s Oktoberfest, which is celebrating its 26th anniversary. The race has developed into a premier event that will attracts entries from Oklahoma and North Dakota.
The group’s facebook page ( offers up-to-date race information.
She moved the races to the Fairgrounds to provide more space for dachshunds and their followers.
“It was pretty tight quarters downtown, so this gives us more space for the dogs, which can get stressed,” Kisner said. “We had enough space for the spectators. But we ran out of room for the entourage that the dogs draw.”
She said successful owners show the dachshund a toy or treat as an incentive to reach the finish line. Dogs race in small heats and the winners advance.
“The children love the races because they are so unpredictable,” she said.
Oktoberfest will welcome a Wienermobile, which is shaped like a hot dog on a bun, used to promote Oscar Mayer products.
Proceeds of the race and raffles will be donated to the Training To Lead program at Stafford High School.  The program teams non-traditional students with shelter dogs from the Pratt Humane Shelter and Pawnee County Humane Society for a 26-week training program. The dogs are trained to be certified as therapy dogs.
Donations pay for upkeep and preventative care for the dogs, which receive medical care at South Fork Veterinary Hospital in Pratt.
“The dogs are trained to be companion animals and it’s gratifying to receive letters that their life has improved and that we’re doing something nice to help people,” Kisner said.
Stafford High teacher Mike Cargill directs the class. The students receive high school credit and spend time with the dogs to prepare them to work as service animals.
Kisner has entered her own dogs, “Romy,” and “Remy,” in the races.
The dogs’ unique names features “Pronto Pup,”  “Jimmy Dean,” “Vienna Sausage,” and “Bullet.”
Kisner said “Baxter,” has gained popularity through Facebook. Other entry names are “Lambeau,” “Miles Dean,” and “Chili Dean.”
Kisner said the Wiener Dog Races are a reunion weekend with people she sees one time a year.
“I never would’ve guessed that starting a wiener dog race would lead to this,” Kisner said. “We’ve donated several thousand dollars to good causes. I’ve met people who are some of my closest friends.”
The standard size dachshund was bred to seek badgers and other burrow-dwelling animals. Miniature dachshunds were developed to hunt smaller prey such as rabbits. Dachshunds have been used to hunt prairie dogs in the American West.
Stafford High’s Brett Bishop is engraving the Wiener Dog Racing trophies through the Stafford SEED program. Prize money will also be awarded.
A featured food vendor will be “Hoggs and Doggs,” operated by Hutchinson’s Mark Carney featuring barbecue and uniquely-prepared hot dogs.
“That business fits right into what we do this weekend,” Kisner said. “It will generate some interest.”
Downtown artists and craftsmen will exhibit their skills such as woodworking, stained glass, candlemaking and concrete paving stones.