KEY WEST, Florida Keys — America’s southernmost island is to embrace a tail-wagging tradition Tuesday, Dec. 31, when the 15th annual Key West Dachshund Walk provides an informal, family-friendly kickoff to New Year’s Eve festivities.
As many as 300 dachshunds and their human companions are expected to gather at noon at the corner of Whitehead and Fleming streets for the “wiener wonderland” walk.
Some canines arrive in costumes or sporting tasteful accessories, and old or sedentary dogs can join the procession in wagons or strollers. “Dachshund crossing guards” are to be on hand to ensure order before the dogs embark and during the event.
The walking route, deliberately kept brief to cater to the dachshunds’ short legs, is to encompass the 400 block of Fleming Street, 500 block of legendary Duval Street and entire one-block length of Appelrouth Lane. Spectators typically line the route, applauding their favorite canines and snapping “pupparazzi” photos.
A supply wagon is to accompany the pups, carrying water for thirsty walkers and plastic bags for quick cleanup of accidents that might occur — as well as providing transport for any participants that get “dog tired” along the way.
According to event organizers, the smile–inducing pooch parade draws shorthaired, wirehaired and longhaired dachshunds — both miniature and standard.
Among notables in the 2018 promenade were dogs dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus, a “boiled” lobster, wieners in buns, superheroes and a saddled “horse” carrying a tiny cowboy rider.
No registration or fee is required to take part in the four-legged fun, but donations of dog and cat food are requested for the community pet-food pantry.
As well as scores of dachshunds, the procession sometimes features “imposters” bearing a suspicious resemblance to other breeds. But since pedigrees aren’t checked, they too can strut their stuff in the lighthearted annual amble.
Dachshund Walk information: facebook.com/Key-West-Dachshund-Walk-161327957238019/