Tri-State celebrates German roots with two festivals

Tri-State celebrates German roots with two festivals
Published: Aug. 6, 2022 at 10:52 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - In pockets around the Tri-State, things have been a little bit extra black, red and gold with Strassenfest in Jasper, as well as Volksfest in Evansville, helping people celebrate their German heritage.

At Volksfest in Evansville, organizers think there are a lot of things to enjoy.

“We have good food, good music, good beer as well, that’s mainly the key there,” said Volksfest Co-Chair Robert Wright.

This is Volksfest’s 60th year. This year included all of its staples: German food, entertainment, beer, and even their famous kraut balls. Wright says he thinks the best part about it though, is the people.

“Families catch up, they meet friends they haven’t seen in a while, and I believe that’s what makes Volksfest, which translates in German to ‘The People’s Festival,’” said Wright.

Counties away, in Jasper, they held a German festival of their own: Strassenfest. The street fair stretched for blocks through Jasper, complete with a Bier Garten, plenty of food, and even a glockenspiel, which stands year-round as a reminder of the area’s German roots.

Organizers say they enjoy getting to share something they love with a new generation.

“It is such a neat way to see kids enjoying something new and exciting and especially because it’s part of my heritage, my German heritage,” said Strassenfest German Heritage Coordinator Laura Grammer.

Strassenfest has been running for 44 years, honoring the German people who helped settle the area. Organizers prioritize German performances and activities, like a maypole. They say everyone is encouraged to come out, whether they have German ancestry or not.

“We try to make it comfortable and let people just come out and as the theme says, ‘Have a Great German Time,’” said Strassenfest Chairman Bob Bleemel.

Organizers for both events say these are their biggest events of the year, and they enjoy having something to share with the community.

If you missed out on all the fun, don’t worry. Organizers say plans are already underway for next year.

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