Ozark Outdoors

Primates also welcome at DogFest/Dachshund Dash Sept. 24 at Chesterfield Park

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A dachshund makes its mad dash for the finish line during Doggiest & Dachshund Dash.

A dachshund makes a mad dash for the finish line during Doggiest & Dachshund Dash. Notice that dachshunds have the ability to soar above the ground, defying gravity as no other canine can.

The 14th Annual DogFest and Dachshund Dash returns Saturday, Sept. 24, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m., at Chesterfield Park, 2511 W. Republic Road, Springfield. For 14 years (nearly a century in dog years), the event has been sponsored by the Springfield-Greene County Park Board.

Although canines are the guests of honor for this event, all varieties of dogs are invited to bring their well-behaved primate guests to meet other primate. Felines, not so much.

Activities, food and beverages will be available for both primate and doggy treats at the Canine Vendor Village (yes, dare we say it, there will even be hot dogs available; wieners if you prefer). featuring commercial and non-profit pet organizations.

The wildly entertaining Dachshund Dash highlights the annual event, with races taking place between 11 a.m. and Noon, wrapping up with the Best of the Best and the Best of the Worst races.

The Dash is limited to, yes, dachshunds (a fetching $15 registration is required by 5 p.m. Wednesday). Indeed, the interest from the dachshund racing community, if there is such a thing, appears to be gaining. Registration forms are at ParkBoard.org or available in person at the Park Board Administrative Office, 1923 N. Weller Ave., Springfield. Primates may call 417-864-1049 for information.

Free demonstrations include canine fitness and agility, dog park etiquette, dogs with Frisbees and hunting dogs. Young primates, known to have short attention spans, may enjoy a canine-themed bounce house for a $1 admission.

Otherwise, DogFest is free and open to the public. All activity proceeds benefit Cruse Dog Park, Springfield’s first off-leash dog park.

For more information on DogFest, call the Springfield-Greene County Park Board at 417-864-1049.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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