Soldotna Progress Days’ main event — the parade — featured classic cars, a float, dancers, bikers, horse riders and wiener dogs.
The long-bodied, short-legged dachshunds trotting down the parade route brought out many smiles and giggles from parade goers Saturday.
This summer marked the 20th year of Weenies on Parade’s participation in Soldotna’s annual parade.
Many of the dogs in the parade were bred by Terri Kunz, who has been breeding dachshunds for 33 years and can trace her dogs’ lineages back 20 generations. Kunz said there are dogs from her litters in seven states.
“I have become great friends with everybody who has my puppies,” she said.
Sybille Castro of Nikiski brought her five wiener dogs, three of which were from Kunz, Hans, Fritz and Franz — all have German names for Castro’s heritage. Her other two dogs, Hotdog and Waikiki, were rescues.
Castro has been doing the parade for three years. Last year was a little chaotic, Castro said, because her dogs got loose three times.
This is Kunz’s seventh year in the parade. She even brought her newest puppy, two-week-old Truman, to the parade this year.
She said the amount of participants in the Weenies on Parade fluctuates each year, but they have had dogs and owners from throughout Alaska as well as out of state.
Kunz is currently raising eight wiener dogs at her home on Funny River Road. Normally she has about 12 dogs.
“Weenies are my passion. They’re my potato chips. I can’t have just one,” Kunz said.
Kaylee Osowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.