22 March 2024

Double-dog dare your friends to come to Canberra's newest festival

| Claire Sams
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Dog running while holding a ball with its mouth

Hot dog! Canberra has a Hot Dog Festival. Photo: File.

A festival dedicated to the hotdog! Put that in the ‘why didn’t someone do it sooner?’ category.

Organiser Marc Brown said the first-ever Hot Dog Festival is a chance for Canberrans to gather around the humble (but mighty) food.

“I wanted to do something that was entertaining and a bit of fun, but also relaxing,” Mr Brown said.

“I have a sausage dog myself and hot dogs are a very fun party food.

“Mixing the two together – the dog and the food – made it something really unique.”

While much of the festival will be focused on hot dogs (the food), part of it will focus on the dachshund – after all, why else would they be known as sausage dogs?

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There will be a line-up of 10 hot dog varieties, along with craft beer, cocktails and milkshakes for thirsty human attendees to drink.

Attendees will also be able to try a variety of games, such as Giant Jenga, sausage bobbing, an all-you-can-eat hot dog competition, trivia and more.

The Hot Dog Festival will also see the debut of the sausage toss contest (no, not the dog, obviously).

“You’ll pair off, and one person has a bun and the other person has a sausage that you toss together,” Mr Brown said.

“It’s definitely a bit of a random game that I invented myself, so I’m interested to see how that works.”

In the ‘cutest dachshund’ costume competition, entrants will fight for victory (and we’re sure plenty of treats and pats).

“This will be one of the main draws and a chance for people to showcase their dogs.

“Ralph [Mr Brown’s dog] has a Darth Vader costume that he’s looking forward to wearing – complete with lightsaber.”

A pet photographer will be there with a camera in hand to snap pictures of the costumed pups.

If posing is hard work for them, our four-legged friends will be able to sample some doggy beer.

“We pack out our events with a lot of thought of the additional entertainment so people can get a good value for money,” he said.

“We don’t want to solely focus on the food.”

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The festival is the latest offering from the team that also brought the Canberra Chicken Wing Festival back in 2023 after several years’ hiatus.

Mr Brown told Region that the festival is set to return this year, likely in May.

“We also want to take advantage of the nice days before the Canberra winter hits!”

Whether it’s hot dogs or chicken wings, Mr Brown sees an appetite for themed events in Canberra – novelty appeal aside.

“Having lived in Canberra for about nine years, I feel we are a very sociable bunch,” he said.

“We do enjoy getting out to festivals and pop-up events, especially at this time of year.”

The Hot Dog Festival will be held on 23 March (Saturday), Verity Lane in the Sydney Building, 50 Northbourne Avenue in Civic. Tickets cost $25 and are available online.

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Sounds awesome. What a great idea. DACHSHUNDS are awesome dogs.

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