Sometimes you just gotta let your inner wolf out, let the big dog howl, even if you are built low to the ground with short, little legs.

Dachshunds on Parade made its grand return to the downtown Ellensburg on Saturday and the wiener dogs were out in force, complete with owners of all shapes and sizes, ages and attire. Yep, a grand event for man and beast.

Throw in beer sampling and the sounds of accordion from the next block over where folks were kicking off the Father’s Day weekend with the first Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce Germanfest, and you could say spirits were high in the pet-friendly environment.

Devon Mooney from Selah pushed a New York style hot dog, complete with four wieners dressed in hot dog costumes of various styles, anything from ketchup and mustard to relish and Sauerkraut, to win the costume contest. It was a close competition with second-place catfish from Marysville.

The Dachshund drag racing results weren’t readily available, but there was some serious speed on display on the turf track. Owners had this thing figured out, putting one member of the racing team down at the finish line with some sort of bait. One girl encouraged her hound’s racing effort waving a sandwich bag full of Kibbles n’ Bits. Other racers ran into the loving arms and a smiling face. But the critter with the best deal was rewarded with a slice of bologna that looked like it came straight from the Safeway deli.

The booths and vendors were every bit as creative as the dachshund owners that brought canopies and plastic wading pools for their wiener dogs to dip in as the temperature on the pavement moved up the scale. Wilbur & Co. Dachshund Bandannas was strutting its stuff while the mango passion drinks were making the rounds.

Ellensburg high School sophomore Bella Anicello had a nice little sound going as she entertained the street crowd with a solo act on the ukulele in front of the Wells Fargo building. The balloon shape-shifter on the corner of Fourth and Pine had the kids lined up four-five deep.

The Wiener Wars T-shirt drew a smile from everyone walking by and a dog named Fresh Vibes with an owner straight out of a Jimmy Buffet Hawaiian song just sort of typified the spirit of the Day of the Dachshund.

But the first-ever Germanfest was not to be outdone. Breweries from across the state were serving it up on a hot day, giving event-goers a variety of craft beer as they gathered in the beer gardens around Old Wells Fargo Drive and Rotary Pavilion.

The breweries included Whipsaw Brewing and Iron Horse Brewing from Ellensburg, Yakima Craft Brewing Company, Dru Bru (Snoqualmie Pass) and Icicle Brewing Company (Leavenworth) pouring the ale as the German band poured out the sounds of a far away land.

“Germanfest is a great way for us to showcase our craft beer and get our message out,” said Cole Rigley with the Iron Horse pub staff. “We’re proud of our efforts and this also gives us a chance to talk with other breweries. There’s nobody exchanging secret recipes, but it’s fun to see what other people are doing.”

Leavenworth is a Bavarian town, so Icicle Brewing Company was in its element on a hot afternoon in Ellensburg.

“We brought our Dark Persuasion, which is a delicate dark chocolate with a whisper of coconut. We also have Kickstand Citra Pale Ale, which is one of our newest beers. It’s got Warrior Hops for a bitter base,” said Cole Barrett. “We’re a Bavarian town, so it seems only right we’re here for this event.”

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