There’s plenty to do in Harker Heights next weekend.

Two city parks will be hotbeds of fun activity from dawn to dusk with Puppypalooza, the Chamber of Commerce Stompede 5-kilometer race and the Central Texas Food & Wine Festival, all on Saturday, Sept. 8.

The third annual Puppypalooza, a free festival for dogs and their owners sponsored by the City of Harker Heights, will be held from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Carl Levin Park, 400 Miller’s Crossing.

This free dog-friendly event features demonstrations, adoptions, dog and owner games and contests, swimming in the park’s outdoor pool, pet advice from professionals and more.

Last year, about 800 people and canines attended the event, according to Nichole Broemer recreation and events coordinator.

“We had a great deal of owners and dogs … 601 came through the pool area,” she said.

Puppypalooza opens at 8:30 a.m. with a welcome message by the city of Harker Heights. A local pastor will then bless the dogs in attendance and a costume fashion show will follow.

“Since it’s usually hot, we like to have the fashion show early so the dogs can take off the costumes and enjoy the rest of the day,” Broemer said.

Stompede 5K

Just down the road from Carl Levin Park, the Stompede 5K will begin with registration at 7 a.m. at Harker Heights Community Park, 1501 E. Farm-to-Market 2410. The race begins at 8 a.m.

A free fun race for kids age 12 and younger will start immediately after the 5K ends. HP Fitness will do activities with the kids to get them warmed up for their fun run, Gina Pence, chamber membership director, said.

Home Depot’s Build a Kid Workshop will be there helping kids make projects, and Jason Foegelle of Farmer’s Insurance will be on hand with the Managing Information on Lost Kids program.

Later that day, the annual Central Texas Food, Wine & Brews Festival opens at the Community Park. From 3 to 9 p.m., festival-goers can eat, drink, shop and listen to live music to their hearts’ content.

Beer, wine tasting

“Home brews” have been added to the festival lineup this year, according to Chamber president Bill Koslik.

“Not everybody drinks wine, so we added beer,” Kozlik said.

Some of the wineries featured at the festival include Bluff Dale Vineyards, Pillar Bluff Vineyards, Fiesta Winery, Red Caboose, Georgetown Winery, Salado Creek Winery & Vineyard and Texas Legato. Twin Liquors will be on hand to present a class on wine tasting.

Hamburger and hot dog lovers can test their eating prowess in eating contests sponsored by Fuddruckers and Wise Guys, and Black Hawk Brewing Supply Company will sponsor a home brew contest for beer-brewers.

Stone Face Cowboys, Retro Active Band, and acoustic musicians will entertain festival guests.

Festival tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door and include unlimited food, wine and beer “tastings.” Entry fees for the 5K are $20 before Sept. 5 and $25 after Sept. 5. Discounts are available when Stompede 5K registrations and festival tickets are purchased together, Pence said.

For more information about these events or to register for the 5K, call the Chamber of Commerce at (254) 699-4999 or go to

Contact Kristi Johnson at or (254) 501-7548

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