German Heritage Days in Grand Island, Nebraska
The "running of the wieners" at German Heritage Days in Grand Island, Nebraska is safer than the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, and more fun than a barrelful of monkeys.
Every September, about 100 dachshunds speed down a special track in the Wiener Dog Race. Eight to 10 dogs race at a time, each accompanied by two people--one to release the dog, and the other to coax it to the finish line.
Some dogs sprint to the finish, while others turn and run backward. And sometimes there's a pileup in the center of the track!
Grand Island is in southeast Nebraska at the junction of U.S. Highways 30 and 281, about 7 miles north of I-80 and about 95 miles west of Lincoln. Heritage Days is set for Sept. 12-14, 2003; the race starts at 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 14.
Other events include an Old Settlers Picnic ($5 admission, includes a meal) and choirs, ethnic dancers, live music and a full German dinner. For details about the festival, call the Liedercranz group at 1-308/382-9337.