RIDDLE — Dachshund-cross Ruby burst out of a wooden pen Wednesday afternoon on her way to first prize in the annual wiener dog race at the downtown Sawdust Jubilee.
Owners Jennifer and Mark Merrick of Canyonville said the key to the win was a turkey bribe.
“I gave her a bit of turkey in the pen to reinforce that it was a happy place,” Jennifer Merrick said. “She always comes to Mark and turkey.”
In two separate races, purebred dachshunds and those with a dash or more of the breed in their pedigrees raced out of a wooden crate toward their owners 100 feet away. The winner of each race then dueled for the title of champion.
Ruby, 11, is half dachshund. The other half is unknown, Jennifer Merrick said.
The dog races were among a barrelful of activities Wednesday afternoon at the 30th annual Sawdust Jubilee. Other events were a pet parade and a costume contest.
Today’s scheduled festivities include a 5K fun run, an outhouse race, a Fourth of July parade and a car show. The roster will be capped off by fireworks at the high school football field at 10 p.m.
Some 75 people wandered around booths Wednesday selling a wide variety of crafts and looking at classic cars while being serenaded by the Accordion Club of Roseburg.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9744 and American Legion Post 123 both had information booths at the event. Kids were entertained in a bounce house and an inflatable obstacle course while parents browsed through the offerings of 30-plus booths.
Myrtle Creek’s Cassie Cox, 24, had her hair done up in two cones and vivid tints at one of the booths by a woman with a knack for outlandish coiffures.
“She does a fantastic job. It’s Styrofoam cups,” Cox said, pointing to the arrangement on her head.
Cox was on the planning committee that put the event together. She said more people came out than last year and she was pleased with the turnout.
“We’re keeping it busy. Everyone seems really happy,” she said. “The Fourth of July is about kids getting out and having fun.”
Chairwoman Joyce Collins of Riddle agreed the turnout was good, but said it was nothing compared to what she expected for Independence Day.
She said the committee raises approximately $30,000 to put on the event. Its members donated high school supplies, gave a student a $500 scholarship and donated money to the South County Food Bank.
Collins said she enjoys the event every year.
“It gives people a way for them to get together when everyone is so busy. It’s fulfilling,” she said. “They come here and get to be around their family.”
Myrtle Creek resident Lori Whitaker, 52, browsed the vendor booths Wednesday afternoon, just like she has for the past 28 years.
Whitaker said she has many good memories of the Jubilee, but one scary one as well.
She recalls seeing a mishap about 12 years ago, when a woman was helping her grandchildren collect candy in the parade and was run over by a Shriner’s float. The woman was not seriously injured but the image has stayed with Whitaker.
Despite the disturbing memory, Whitaker said she returns year after year.
“It’s a don’t-miss, it really is. It’s one of the premier festivals of Douglas County,” she said. “They do a lot packed into three days.”
• You can reach reporter Betsy Swanback at 541-957-4208 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It gives people a way for them to get together when everyone is so busy. They come here and get to be around their family.
Sawdust Jubilee chairwoman