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Canines to Celebrate at Key West Dachshund Walk Dec. 31

KEY WEST, Fla. — Canines can have a doggone good time in Key West at noon New Year’s Eve, when the 14th annual Key West Dachshund Walk is staged in the island city’s historic Old Town.

Event organizers expect as many as 200 short-legged, long-bodied dogs and their owners to march in the procession Monday, Dec. 31, cheered by several hundred spectators.

Dachshunds, their human companions and fans are scheduled to gather at the corner of Whitehead and Fleming streets for the pooch parade. While it isn’t mandatory, people are encouraged to dress up their pups in costumes and other getups.

Tail-wagging participants typically include shorthaired, wirehaired and longhaired standard and miniature dachshunds. Each year a few “wiener-dog wannabes” from other breeds take part as well — and a Chihuahua flash mob sometimes infiltrates the festivities.

The walking route, deliberately kept brief in deference to the dachshunds’ short legs, is to encompass the 400 block of Fleming Street, 500 block of legendary Duval Street and entire one-block length of Appelrouth Lane. Old or sedentary four-legged participants can ride in wagons or strollers decorated for the event.

Standouts in the 2017 procession included a “rasta” dachshund with dredlocks, a ‘Wizard of Oz” ensemble featuring dogs garbed as the Tin Man and a flying monkey, a canine “chicken” and a dachshund costumed as a horse carrying Sheriff Woody from the “Toy Story” films.

No registration or fee is required to take part in the four-legged fun, but donations of dog and cat food are requested for the community pet-food pantry.

Spectators can watch the pooch parade and applaud participants anywhere along the route.

Dachshund Walk information: facebook.com/Key-West-Dachshund-Walk-161327957238019/

Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY

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