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Organizer hopes event will draw 100 dachshunds

Weenies highlight of parade

Posted: Monday, July 21, 2003

For the 10th year, Progress Days parade-goers will have the opportunity to view "Weenies on Parade."

Diane Fielden is the organizer, promoter and coordinator of this annual event. Fielden said the idea itself "was just a wild hair."

"My husband and I had been in the area a couple of years and had two new dachshund puppies.

"I said to him 'You know, we should parade these guys.' And he said, 'Yeah, we could call it Weenies on Parade!'"

The first "Weenies on Parade" proudly presented 15 Dachshunds to the viewing public.

That number has steadily increased over the years, with last year's parade boasting 62 eager participants.

Fielden hopes this year's effort will exceed 100.

"I will organize Weenies on Parade until there is no Progress Days. People have come to expect to see us. It's a thrill. We all stand so proud because everybody loves us."

Tammy Flanders has walked her dogs in ever parade since 1994. She attributes the dachshund's popularity to its "great personality."

"Dachshunds are small, easy to keep, yet pretty tough and durable," she said.

Fielden agreed.

"Everybody loves weenie dogs. Everybody. They have these mighty little personalities. I have not known a dachshund owner who didn't want more. They're more like children than dogs, like children who never grow up and go away," she said.

The Progress Days Parade begins at 11 a.m. July 26.

Anyone wishing to walk their dachshund in Weenies on Parade is invited to meet at 10:30 a.m. outside Cad-Re Feed on the corner of Aspen and Marydale in Soldotna.

The parade route ends at Shorty's Cafe in the Peninsula Center Mall.

There will be free hot dogs for human participants and biscuits for dachshunds.

All dogs must be on leashes and accompanied by a human companion.

For more information and photos of previous parades, people can visit the official Weenies on Parade Web site at www.alaska.net/~davetami/in_the_woods/wop/.



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