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Wienerfestival an annual celebration of the beloved breed

The festival had multiple activities like a grand parade, costume contest, doxie derby and multiple food and retail vendors.

BELFAST, Maine — Dog owners and dog lovers alike gathered in Belfast to celebrate "wiener dogs" in a festival that celebrates the breed.

The 17th annual Maine Wienerfestival drew pups and owners from across the country, as well as right here in Maine.

"It just puts a smile on people's faces," Tim Woitowitz said. 

Woitowitz has emceed the festival for more than 15 years, saying his favorite part is seeing the love these owners have for their dogs.

"You get these big burly guys, and they're [owners] like, 'booboo baby.' It's a lot of fun."

The festival had multiple activities like a grand parade, costume contest, doxie derby, and multiple food and retail vendors.

Tony Conroy and his dog Winston took a trip from Portland to attend the festival. Winston is a 2-year-old dachshund, and Conroy was feeling competitive entering Winston in his first race ever.

Winston, not disappointing, came out with a victorious effort.

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"I was very proud. Proud dad today," Conroy said.

Winston and many other dogs have a home right here in Maine, but other dogs traveled far distances to take part in the festival.

Woitowitz said the dog that traveled the farthest to attend the Sunday events was from California. Meanwhile, other dogs traveled from Florida, Georgia, Virginia, New York, and New Jersey.

Whether festivalgoers owned a dog or just wanted to enjoy the afternoon, all were welcome to enjoy the cute sights and sounds.

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