FARMINGTON — About 10 dachshunds were led into a pen on Saturday. Colorful shirts with large numbers were placed on the dogs and they were put into boxes.

The dogs were the first of six heats of wiener dog races, followed by the final race to determine fastest dog.

The wiener dog races has been a tradition at RiverFest for years. RiverFest started Friday and continues today.

When the gates to the boxes opened, the dogs burst out, only to turn around and, distracted from the race at hand, start greeting each other. A few of the dogs made it across the field to their owners, who were calling for them from behind a white line.

Chessie, a black and brown dog, wasn't sure what to do at the start.

Morgon Tso holds his dog, Princess, after a wiener dog race on Saturday at RiverFest in Berg Park in Farmington.
Morgon Tso holds his dog, Princess, after a wiener dog race on Saturday at RiverFest in Berg Park in Farmington. (Hannah Grover — The Daily Times)

Her owner, Tonia McEvans, said Chessie went the wrong way at first. But, when the race had ended, she turned around and ran to McEvans.

After the race, Chessie proceeded to give McEvans a "high five."

McEvans said they have competed before and Chessie seems to enjoy it.

"She likes to see her cousins, as I always say," McEvans said.

New Mexico Dachshund Rescue was also on hand in case people wanted to adopt a dog for next year's race.

The rescue had eight dogs available throughout the state.

"Sometimes it rains dachshunds and other times we don't have enough to fill our applications," said Maggie Richardson, a volunteer with the group.

Richardson was accompanied by Max, one of the dogs up for adoption. The 14-year-old wiener dog found himself homeless after a divorce.

It was the rescue's first time at the races and various people stopped by and filled out applications to volunteer and to adopt.

"We thought of course it's a natural combination, wiener dog racing and wiener dog rescue," Richardson said.

For people not interested in the races, RiverFest also offered a variety of other activities including a petting zoo, raft rides and concerts.

A raft floats down the river on Saturday during RiverFest in Farmington.
A raft floats down the river on Saturday during RiverFest in Farmington. (Hannah Grover — The Daily Times)

Allison Parks, 15, and her sister Dani, 12, came down from Colorado Springs, Colo., to attend RiverFest with their grandma, Raydel Hall.

Allison Parks said she wanted to attend in order to spend time outdoors with her family.

"I just like walking outdoors," she said.

She added that walking is more fun when with family.

"They love to shop," Hall said. "They want to hit all the little stalls that have things for sale."

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.