Wiener dog races prove a big hit at Riverfest

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — More than 50 dogs competed in the 2022 renewal of wiener dog races, one of the more popular events of Riverfest activities on Saturday at Berg Park in Farmington.

Turnout for the races resulted in packed bleachers and standing room only crowds around the fenced in course at the park's River Reach Terrace, where a total of 57 dogs competed in five trial races, with the winners of those races then meeting for the championship.

Twitch, owned by Farmington's Joshua Mike, was the overall winner, winning the second trial heat of the day, then running past his competition in the finals to claim the award as fastest wiener dog of the day.

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Event coordinator Marsha Rutledge was pleased with the turnout of spectators as well as the record number of entrants for the competition.

Twitch, owned by Farmington's Joshua Mike, celebrate their victory in the Wiener Dog Races competition, Saturday, May 28, 2022 at Berg Park in Farmington. NM.

"We had 57 entrants this year, which is just amazing," Rutledge said. "We had 44 runners in 2019, when the event was last held here."

The pandemic forced the cancellation of the wiener dog races, and the Riverfest itself, over the last two years.

Dusty, who was well on his way to winning one of five qualifying races during Wiener Dog Race competition at Berg Park, stopped midway to smell the grass at Riverfest weekend at Berg Park.

"It's by far one of the most popular events on the calendar for Riverfest," Rutledge said. "I had 19 people who wanted to volunteer to be a part of the races, so it's a really big deal."

Participating owners entered their dogs as a cost of $10 each, with proceeds benefitting the River Reach Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection, promotion and enhancement of Farmington’s riverine corridors.

Riverfest runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free, but some of the activities do include a charge. Call 505-716-4405 for more information or visit riverfestnewmexico.com to download a schedule. 

Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680. Support local journalism with a digital subscription.