Tater Trailor used her secret weapon to snag second place in her heat at the Wurstfest Weenie Dog Races on Saturday -- her nemesis, the squeaky squirrel.
The Trailor family drove up from Hamilton for Wurstfest and city’s 125th birthday celebration. More than 11,000 people and pets crowded downtown Mansfield on Saturday for the merged events, chowing down on bratwurst, dancing to live music, checking out vendor goods, competing in the hot dog eating contest and building race cars from hot dogs.
Dellon Trailor, 5, won his heat in the Frankenfurter 500, turning his hot dog into a fast-moving vehicle complete with colored wooden wheels, pipe cleaners and a flag. Dellon, though, gave up his shot at the overall Frankenfurter title to watch Tater’s race.
The 9-year-old piebald red dachshund had been chowing down on hot dogs all day, bulking up on her protein, said dad, Dell Trailor. For the race, Dell crouched at the starting line with Tater, while Cooper Trailor, 8, squatted at the finish line with the hated squeaky squirrel.
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“She saw him and she went straight for him,” Dell Trailor said.
For her speedy scamper, Tater took home a $30 gift certificate from Petco, which she will use to buy more squeaky toys, and probably a pig’s ear for her “curvy” non-racing sister, Peanut, says her mom, Nellie Trailor.
“We have got a lot of people from out of town who are discovering historic Mansfield,” said Belinda Willis, the city’s director of communications and marketing. “The weather has been absolutely marvelous. Everyone loves to come to Main Street.”
More than 400 people visited the Historical Museum & Heritage Center on Main Street on Saturday, said museum specialist Vern Raven, checking out the exhibits and buying raffle tickets and T-shirts.
“These events are good because they bring people to downtown and to the museum,” Raven said. “We want people to come see us and learn about history.
“We’re 60,000 people now,” he said, referring to the city’s population. “Forty thousand of those people came in the last few years. You can’t expect them to know about everything.”
People wandered Main Street from Broad Street to Oak Street and into the children’s area on Smith Street for most of the day, then swarmed the main stage in the evening to hear country musician Granger Smith. During a music break, fireworks were launched from the Main Street bridge over the railroad tracks.
Amanda Rogers: @AmandaRogersNM