Second only to the Kentucky Derby as the longest continually running sporting event in the country, the 135th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was started in 1877 by “hunting men”—as the official history calls them—who met at the Westminster Hotel on Irving Place. This year, 2,500 dogs of 179 breeds—including six new breeds that are being recognized by the American Kennel Club for the first time (including the Bluetick Coonhound and the Boykin Spaniel)—will strut their stuff. The Kennel Club’s website is packed with interesting facts and videos of past winners, even a film of the 1932 Best of Show, a pointer. All tickets allow access to the benching area backstage, which is probably the best thing about attending the show. Finals will be held Tuesday at 7:30—may the best dog win.

Mon., Feb. 14; Tue., Feb. 15, 2011