BLOWING ROCK – Returning to Blowing Rock’s WinterFest for a second year, the K9 Keg Pull event will be given more room to operate as the 2020 edition on Saturday, Jan. 25, takes place on Park Avenue in downtown Blowing Rock from 1 p.m. until at latest 4 p.m.

“The course itself will be twice as wide,” said Lynn Smith, founder and organizer of the event. “We’ve grown to where we need more space for people to race alongside their dogs.”

The 2019 edition took place in front of the American Legion Hall in Blowing Rock as part of WinterFest. Hundreds lined up in the small space and on the adjacent hillside to watch the races.

The 2020 edition will be the fifth High Country K9 Keg Pull. Prior to 2019, the event took place in Avery County.

The races consist of dogs of all shapes and sizes and abilities pulling empty beer kegs, mounted on sleds or snowboards, and their owners down a track. The top performers are given prizes.

“It’s super silly, we have dogs under 25 pounds up to over 100 pounds,” Smith said. “It’s always fun because the dogs are fairly unpredictable. We have to calm them down not to crash into anything.”

Funds from the races goes to PARTNERS! Canines, a High Country dog rescue nonprofit.

PARTNERS! Canines works with various groups in the region to rescue puppies and dogs from high-kill shelters and transport them to rescue partners around the country, who then spay/neuter them and find them forever homes.

The 2019 K9 Peg Pull raised $2,800, Smith said, and the 2020 edition is shooting for $4,000.

The event will also feature an auctioning of prizes and random fundraising events during the races, Smith added.

Alongside the K9 Keg Pull will be the WinterFest Beer Garden, taking place on the lawn of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce building on Park Avenue.

Smith encourages participants to pre-register online at the event’s website highcountryk9kegpull.weebly.com. The cost is $15 to pre-register and $30 to get a t-shirt. Day-off registration is $20 and takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

For more information about Blowing Rock’s WinterFest, visit blowingrockwinterfest.com.

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