A weekend of wiener dog races, music, hammerspiel, and bratwursts is in the history books.
Saline Oktoberfest, a Saline Main Street event, enjoyed attendance Friday and Saturday in downtown Saline.
Friday’s crowds weren’t quite as big as they were in 2016, when police had to turn away visitors, but attendance was strong.
The oppressive heat didn’t do much to chase away crowds Saturday afternoon, when families brought their kids to enjoy the activities and inflatable rides at Kinderplatz.
The wiener dog races on South Ann Arbor Street drew a big crowd and almost twice as many contestants as last year.
With temperatures above 90 degrees and high humidity, it felt like the dog days of summer when the events turned to some of Saline’s cutest four-legged friends.
Mayor Brian Marl, former Festmaster and K9 Crusaders volunteer Jim Peters and Board of Education Vice-President Paul Hynek judged the dog costume contest. In front of about 120 people, owners paraded their costumed dogs through the wiener dog raceway on South Ann Arbor Street. In the end, the contest was won by Oliver – a wiener dog dressed for the festival in lederhosen.
Then it was time for the wiener dog races. After several heats, the fastest little wiene dogs met in the championship round.
The dogs shot out of the crate toward their owners at the finish line. Reggie Bigglesworth, owned by Jennifer Symanns and Jena Ault, earned the first-place ribbon.
“We heard about this race from a friend. Reggie is a pretty athletic dog. Our other dog is a lot more mellow. So we figured we’d give it a shot,” Symanns said. “We knew he was fast, but we didn’t expect Reggie to win.”
Reggie Bigglesworth defeated Axel, the Wildwood Wiener, by a nose. Axel is owned by Wendy Winchester. Third place went to Dirty Frank, owned by John Pickett.
Oktoberfest was founded as a celebration of Saline’s sister-city relationship with Lindenberg, Germany.
A contingent of Salinians, including Mayor Marl and Councillors Jack Ceo and Linda TerHaar, will be visiting Germany this week.