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Dog days of summer

LUVERNE — A total of 15,000 hot dogs and beverages will be given away in appreciation this Thursday during the Luverne Area Chamber of Commerce’s 52nd Annual Hot Dog Nite. 

“It started in the 1960s when some business people wanted to thank their customers for shopping in Luverne,” explained Jane Wildung Lanphere, executive director of the Luverne Chamber. “Over the years, it has really grown into a big community event.”

Starting at 5:30 Thursday, downtown businesses will begin handing out heaps of hot dogs.

“Last year one of the ladies serving hot dogs made barbecued hot dogs,” Lanphere recalled. “I believe she gave away all 300 of her hot dogs in less than 15 minutes.”

In addition to free hot dogs and beverages, there will be other hotdog related events throughout the evening.

The fourth annual Wienerman Triathlon will take place, a relay race interspersed with eating — you guessed it — hot dogs.

“It’s a running, eating, swimming and biking race,” Lanphere said, laughing. “It’s quite comical to watch these people, and they just have a good time. That’ll be a great event.”

Wiener dog beauty contests and races will also be occurring, adding to other events such as the McDonald’s Beverage Trailer and the beer garden on Main Street.

“Midwest Fire, who makes fire trucks for cities around the world, decided that this is the event they want to hang their hat with, so they will be parking one of their brand-new, top-of-the-line trucks down here and also giving away free freezie pops,” said Lanphere. “Other new events happening include having a live band on main street, and a beer garden as well.”

Lanphere invites everyone in the area to come to downtown Luverne and enjoy its July festival.

“It’s a fun little local quirky event,” she said. “It’s always just a fun night.”

The full schedule of events is as follows:

4-7 p.m.: Luverne Farmer’s Market at Redbird Field.

6:15 p.m.: Wienerman Triathlon, register at

7 p.m.: Wiener Dog Beauty Contest, followed immediately by Wiener Dog Races.

6-11 p.m.: Beer Garden on Main Street.

6 p.m.: Tae Kwon Do Demonstrations

6:30 p.m.: Spotlight Dance Performance

4:30-5:45 p.m.: Girl Scouts and Luverne Area Chamber Fine Art Hot Dog Contest.

6:30 p.m.: Music and Pie Party at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

8-11 p.m.: Music on Main Street with “Undercover.”

For more information, call the Luverne Area Chamber of Commerce at (507) 283-4061, or visit its website at