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Man’s best friend can channel their inner sled dog during the first annual K-9 Keg Pull Jan. 20 on Historic Main Street in Deadwood.

Journal file

DEADWOOD | Man’s best friend can channel their inner sled dog during the first annual K-9 Keg Pull Jan. 20 on Main Street in Deadwood.

The event is the first of its kind in Deadwood, and was thought of as a way to revitalize the downtown area during the larger events.

“We wanted to do more community events during some of our other events. Snocross is the same weekend, so we wanted to include an additional event on Main Street,” said Sarah Anderson, event coordinator for the Deadwood Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber came up with the idea based on similar events' popularity in other parts of the country. Anderson encouraged the community to come out and take part, even if they don’t have a dog to enter in the race.

“This is the first one we’ve done, and it’s during Snocross, so we’re asking everyone coming down for Snocross to come down to Main Street and have a good time. We’re hoping this event will grow like all our other events, and the weather forecast for the weekend looks pretty good,” she said.

The objective is to have dogs pull empty kegs along a snow-packed Main Street, with the dogs separated into classes based on their weight. The keg sizes range from regular beer kegs to growlers for the smaller dogs. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, snow will be brought in to line the track, Anderson said.

There will be four different weight classes: 25 pounds and under, 25-50 pounds, 51-70 pounds, and 71 pounds and over.

The dogs will wear a special harness attached to the appropriately sized keg and pull it down the 100-foot track. The track stretches down Main Street in front of the Silverado-Franklin Hotel to Pine Street, and will be lined with hay bales and fencing.

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There will be people on each end of the track, one to release the dogs, and another to catch the dogs, similar to the Wiener Dog Races. Main Street will be closed from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the event.

Dogs will run the course one at a time and be judged on the fastest times for each weight class. If two dogs in the same class tie, they will rerun the course to determine a winner. The fastest Fido in each weight class wins a package of prizes from Bomgaars in Spearfish.

The event is free to the public. For participants, registration is $10 per dog and begins at 11 a.m. Racing starts at 1 p.m. and awards will be handed out after the last dog has competed. Proceeds from the event will go to benefit Twin City Animal Shelter in Lead.

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