One of the winter highlights around here is the annual Kearney Dog Sled Races, but don't think you have to be a racer to enjoy it. There's plenty of excitement for spectators, as well as entertainment, activities, demonstrations, and food.
The weekend starts Friday evening, Feb 5th, with a Lion's Park family skate and bonfire, including free hot dogs and hot chocolate.
The races take place both Saturday and Sunday (Feb 6th & 7th) and include a 4-mile, 6-mile, 40-mile and 120-mile course. The 120-mile is new this year and is a qualifier for some of the big races in north america. It's actually a 60-mile loop that is travelled twice, broken by a 4-hour layover. In this race, the mushers are unassisted and must perform all the dog-car duties themselves (and human-care duties too!).
There are also "Kid & Mutt" races (very cute), ski-joring races—where the racers omit the sled and instead harness themselves directly to their dogs!
The weekend is not just about the races. There's a snow sculpture contest, ice bike racing, outdoor bbq or indoor lunch, silent auction and entertainment. Don't worry, you can always warm up inside if it gets chilly.
The service groups in town offer dinner both nights; a down-home roast beef dinner on Saturday, a spaghetti dinner on Sunday night.
The Kearney Dog Sled Race weekend is a wonderful small-town-with-big-heart festival, and the perfect way to celebrate winter. We hope to see you there!
Feb 5-7, 2010
Accommodations still available here at the inn.