KWP04KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Frost-free Key West isn’t a winter wonderland during the holiday season, but it may become a “wiener wonderland” when about 200 dachshunds and their owners take a New Year’s Eve stroll through the island’s picturesque downtown.

The seventh annual Key West Dachshund Walk, set for noon Saturday, Dec. 31, provides an informal, family-friendly prelude to nighttime New Year’s Eve revelry.

Dachshunds, their human companions and fans are expected to gather at the corner of Whitehead and Fleming streets for the smile-inducing procession of pooches.

KWP02Some canines typically arrive in costumes or wearing offbeat accessories, and old or sedentary dogs ride along in wagons or strollers. Standouts in the 2010 parade included dachshunds costumed as wieners in buns, pirates, hard-shelled turtles and even four-legged aviators riding in a mock vintage airplane on wheels.

The walking route, deliberately kept brief to cater to the dachshunds’ short legs, is to encompass a portion of Fleming Street adjoining Key West’s legendary Duval Street. A supply wagon is to carry water for thirsty walkers and plastic bags for quick cleanup of any accidents — as well as providing transport for dogs that get tired along the way.

Participants are expected to include miniature and standard dachshunds ranging from shorthaired to wirehaired to longhaired. In addition, each year a few canines from other breeds manage to take part, becoming honorary dachshunds for the day.

Plans also call for the 2011 parade to feature a “newshound” wearing a “doggie cam” to provide a dog’s-eye view of the proceedings.

Spectators can watch the fun and meet the canine participants on Fleming Street between Whitehead and Duval streets.

Event information: keywestdachshundwalk@gmail.com

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

Social: facebook.com/floridakeysandkeywesttwitter.com/thefloridakeysYouTube.com/FloridaKeysTV

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