Adjacent to the Bella Terra shopping center in Huntington Beach is Old World, a German-themed village full of shops, restaurants and the city’s annual Oktoberfest celebration. I have driven past it on several occasions while on my way to and from Costco, yet I have never stopped. Given today was opening day of Oktoberfest, we decided to make it our new activity. Sundays are also when they host Dachshund Races and boy was that a treat!
Admission was only $7 per person. We arrived about 2 p.m. and the patio and restaurant were already jam packed full of patrons. As we made our way toward the festivities, we were surrounded by Dachshunds and their proud owners. We grabbed a few “trinken” and some pretzels while we met various pups before the competition started.
Well before the 3 p.m. race start, the track was crowded with onlookers. Operationally, they have it down to a science. Between the emcee calling the contestants and the line judge determining winners, we were amazed at how quickly they cranked through each qualifying pair with barely breathing room in between each 22 yard race.
There were a few tough calls where it really was winning by a nose. The Weiner dogs seemed to be enjoying themselves with either a treat or a toy at the end of each heat.
At about 3:50, they lined up the last few contestants for the finals. And the winner is…
Anyone who has met me knows I absolutely adore dogs. What a treat to see so many of them competing in such a fun way. They were definitely the highlight of Oktoberfest and it’s no wonder they are the main draw for attendance.
Of course we also enjoyed the lederhosen, dirndl and other traditional Bavarian clothing that the patrons and staff wore. We also participated in the Chicken Dance because it’s not an Oktoberfest celebration without it. If you get an opportunity to attend, you definitely should go on Sundays to experience the Wiener Dog Races! Oktoberfest ends October 29, so pick your date and go.