2011 Solvang Greyhound Festival

Despite the cold, wet weather, this years Solvang Greyhound Festival celebrants brought their own warmth and sunshine to Solvang. More than 230 hounds and their humans attended this years festivities, participating in games, shopping, auctions, socializing, and listening to a variety of speakers. The predicted rain materialized Thursday night and continued throughout the day Friday, but most hounds and humans just put on their rain gear and went on having fun.

On Thursday night, humans and hounds were treated to an evening of wine tasting at the Caravintas Winery. Catering to dog lovers, the tasting room allows dogs to accompany their people into the shop. Organized by Linda Weller, a standing room only crowd enjoyed glasses of three different wines, each with a unique label featuring a dog picture. Bottled specially for the occasion was a Russian River Syrah with a picture of Tenille, the first recipient of a grant from Greyt Legs to help mend a leg broken while racing.

Officially beginning on Friday morning, festival vendors opened shop with all things greyhound available, speaker Jodi Brown made a marvelous presentation about the Second Chance at Life Program, the hounds were blessed Friday afternoon at the mission, the silent auction opened, Telma Shaw gave a wonderful talk about her trip to Spain visiting over 9 different associations involved in Galgo Rescue, and the Friday Night Pizza Party brought everyone together under one roof for fellowship, food, drink and an auction – it should be mentioned that all proceeds from the festival, including the auctions, go to benefit the Greyt Legs organization.

The festivities continued on Saturday with more speakers, shopping, greyhound games, and a dinner at Pea Soup Anderson’s with featured speaker Cindy Hansen, editor-in-chief of Celebrating Greyhounds Magazine. The weekend wrapped up on Sunday morning with a walk through town with all the hounds, senior hound recognition (10 years and older), and the famous final roo at the downtown park. It was a weekend to remember, both for the weather and the program, but most of all for the hounds who are the whole reason for this great festival. This article would not be complete without mention of the people who make the Solvang Greyhound Festival possible – Teri Rogo, Jodi Brown, Tiffany Brown,Therese Skinner, Dana Provost, Will and Linda Weller and many more I simply cannot remember. Their dedication to the event and the countless hours spent in putting it together deserve an immense thank you from all of us who eagerly look forward to going. Lastly, a huge thank you to the officials, shop owners, and townfolk in the City of Solvang for having us and making us feel so welcome. See you all next year!

(click the thumbnails to enlarge)