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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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May 3, 2017     Hays Free Press
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+ Page 4C COMMUNITY Hays Free Press = May 3, 2017 PHOTOS BY MOSES LEOS III + Dachsunds race to the finish at last weekend's annual festival. Wiener Dog Races: From short scamper to national event Continued from pg. 1C during Budafest that same year, Krejci over- heard a friend of her daughter talk to a vendor about the demise of a spring event held by the Buda Library. Talk was also start- ing to build regarding a country fair, which could be held by the Buda Lions Club on the greenbelt. The fair would include a cook-off as well. It was at that point Krejci pitched to the Buda Lions the idea of including the wiener dog races in the country fair. They initially didn't take her seriously and laughed at her sugges- tion. After some persuad- ing, and telling Lions she would organize the event, Krejci was given the green light for the races if she found a suitable location. Lions didn't allow her to use the greenbelt. Instead, she held the races in a field at Buda City Park. She soon realized just how lucrative the idea could be. ' dl the people who were on the greenbelt and the vendors, they wanted to come down to the park and they wanted to be at the Wiener Dog Races," Krejci said. "The Lions Club had a party after the event and they had to eat their words." Following the success of year one, Kreicji began a crusade to further pro- mote the event the next year. She got the help of Truck City Ford, which donated $1,000 for the event. Krejci, who at that point needed $200 to underwrite the event, turned to friend Corrine Taylor, who worked at RoyH. Williams Market- ing, to inquire about his interest in the Wiener Dog races. "She called the next day and said Roy would under- ride the cost and give a $500 champi- onship prize and buy the tro- phies," I ejci said. From there, the event grew in popularity, both locally and regionally. iiiiii PHOTOS BY MOSES LEOS III Above, a member of the Brewer's Korean Martial Arts Institute demonstrates his skill by break- ing a board at the Wiener Dog Races. Below, owners of one dachshund planned to get a first- snout view of a preliminary race at the Buda Wiener Dog races by strapping a camera to their racer. But the true breakout moment came in 2008 when representatives with CBS Sunday Morn- ing heard about the event and came out to complete a segment on it. The segment ran in an episode the week following the races. That next year, the races drew 650 dogs from across the nation, which was an increase of 400 participants from the year previous. "I'm really proud of it," Kreicji said. A TAIL OF SUCCESS "All the people who were on As with many things, the wiener dog races have seen some changes over the years. One example is the use of the starting gate for the dogs, which came after organiz- ers used a starter's pistol in the first year. As one would expect, that method wasn't very success- ful. A fence keeping the competitors within the racing lanes was also thought of down the line. Other additions included the institu- tion of a fee to attend the races, which stirred up some controversy. the greenbelt and the vendors, they wanted to come down to the park and they wanted to be at the Wiener Dog Races ... The Lions Club had a party after the event and they had to eat their words." - Diane Kreijci, wiener dog race advocate Pauline Tom, a Moun- tain City resident who has attended the races for the past 18 years, said no matter how the event was structured, it's always something to look forward to. She recalled how her late dog, BoD, got excited when they made the drive into downtown Buda to the races. "He knew when racing time was going on," Tom said. "He was bark- ing when he went into Buda." Spreading the word of the event was something many in the community did on a regular basis, Tom said. "Once you do it, you tell your friends about it," Tom said. Austin resident and television anchor Rudy Koski, who has attended the event for the past four years, came to know the races based on stories about the event. When he rescued his dachshund, Jimmy Dean, four years ago, Koski and his family knew the races couldn't be passed up. Amy Koski, Rudy's wife, said the event has become a hobby for their family. Their children, who are now in college, regularly travel back to the area for the races. But for Koski, the event also is a chance to learn about the importance of the Lions Club and its fundraisers to curb child- hood eyesight issues. "Whether or not Jimmy Dean wins or not, it's not important. Well, it's kind of important. But being part of the mission of the Lions Club is really cool," Koski said. Today, the event con- tinues to resonate in the community. Thouands pour into Buda from across the nation and even worldwide. It also lends itself to moments such as mar- riage proposals, which took place Saturday when Houstonite Pat- rick Buffer popped the question to fianc6e Allie Bassine. Allie, whose family has owned dachshunds for years, learned about the event and pushed Buffer to go. Buffer said he be- gan the planning process with organizers for the moment. "I always wanted to come here and I figured it would be a good time to do it," Bassine said. FARM E R$' Debbie Thames Insurance Agency AUTO HOME LIFE BOAT HEALTH 251 N. FM 1626 #2C Buda, TX 78610 Office: (512)312-1917. Fax: 312-0688 Email: dvthames @ anstin.rr.com Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm Your Business & Referrals Are Appreciated WE WANT TAMALES If you think yours are DEUCIOSO, enter them in the 10th annual Diboll Tamale Fest Contest brought you by: Food and Atts/Cratts booth spaces available~ For mote info~: or tehfiMm~tyoMibdL~m 4 P.M. MAY 13 * DIBOLL, TX I i If ilil /i