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Oktoberfest features Dachshund races

Polka lessons, brats, bretzels and beer — and Dachshund races — are on tap for the fourth annual Oktoberfest at Southern Appalachian Brewery on Saturday, Oct. 18.

The wiener-dog championship races are a first for the area, said organizer Chris Nevel.
"When Kelly (Cubbin) asked me to come in, I said my only requirement is that we add this," he said. "I've seen tremendous interest. What's nice is that no small town attempts it. It's usually a huge festival (that features Dachshund races) and the crowd just loves it.
"I'm hoping to have 16 so we can have two heats of four in each weight class," he said.
Under-16s "are frankfurters and over are the big brats," he said. The champion race will combine the miniatures and biggies.
The dogs run down a track from a "releaser" to a "catcher."
"It's a straight dash, whether they make it a straight shot or the dog runs in a zigzag," Nevel said. "The crowd loves it either way."
Race registration, which is free, can be made at Wag Pet Boutique at 231 N. Main St.
Southern Appalachian owner Andy Cubbin is brewing a Marzen style ale for the Oktoberfest. The name refers to German ale brewed in March and cold-stored in cellars until it was ready to be consumed during a harvest festival in the fall.
"We're keeping expenses low and I'm really excited about the direction this is taking," Nevel said. "We have a good time with good food by local vendors and free polka lessons."