Rottweiler dog show taking place at Chautauqua USA
There’s been plenty of buzz ahead of this weekend’s planned Lipton festivities coinciding with National Ice Tea Day, but there’s another big event set to take place within the same timeframe: the Rottweiler Klub of North America Inc. 2018 Spring Sieger Show, presented by Landesgruppe Chicago in Chautauqua Park.
While a quite mouthful, the event will be very easy on the eye, according to Landesgruppe Chicago Vice President Mike Stalter, as beautiful canines from all over North America will gather for a prestigious Rottweiler show. Stalter, a lifelong Pontiac resident, was instrumental in facilitating the move of the show to his hometown.
“I’ve been a member of Landesgruppe Chicago since 1989, and it’s been around since 1986, and over the years, they had their shows up near Lake Michigan,” he said. “Slowly, as prices went up for the show grounds, they’ve migrated farther and farther west. The last couple of years, they were out near Rockford and it was $1,500 per weekend.
“I told them this last winter that I thought I could find something much, much cheaper here in my hometown of Pontiac, and it’ll be as close to Chicago as Rockford is. I talked to (City Administrator) Bob Karls and (Tourism Director) Ellie Alexander about a show spot and I asked about using one of our parks and they said they’d thought that’d be great.”
Besides having bragging rights about the location of the show being Pontiac, Stalter noted that the rental costs were substantially cheaper.
“We were able to get Chautauqua Park for only $10 a day,” he said.
“People sometimes complain about their taxes, but it’s nice to be able to use the city facilities. We’ve got a beautiful town here.”
The Spring Sieger Show, which kicks off Friday afternoon and ends Sunday, has 98 dogs entered into the competition, parsed into eight classes each for male and female Rottweilers. Stalter figures the event might bring in upwards of 200 people.
He noted that the European-style dog shows, like the one to be hosted this weekend, are a lot more casual than, say, the likes of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, in that attendees and entrants are encouraged to dress more casually. Stalter also hoped that the event would help clear up some misconceptions about the German breed.
“A lot of people have this misunderstanding, that Rottweilers are these vicious, killer dogs, and they can come right over and see these dogs, see how happy they are and how they interact with each other,” he said.
“Like with all dogs, people should always ask the owner if it’s OK to pet them, but it’s a good, positive opportunity to show a different side of some really beautiful dogs.”
Far from thinking he was in competition, so to speak, with the Lipton event, Stalter thought it “absolutely wonderful” that two large events were to take place simultaneously in Pontiac, feeling it was a point of pride at how his place of birth has transformed itself.
“It’s really good for the local economy, because we’re having people come in and buying things locally,” he stated.
“Pontiac is big on tourism, and I think that’s really cool that we’ve reinvented ourselves so we don’t have empty storefronts uptown. With the Lipton event coinciding this weekend, the concert they’re having out in the new band shell, I think it’s absolutely wonderful that even an average guy like me can say, ‘Our town has got a lot to offer.’”
Credit: Paul Westermeyer