Every year Wurstfest or the famous ‘Salute to Sausage Festival‘ draws a huge crowd to New Braunfels. Held over 10 days of early November, Wurstfest celebration is inspired by Oktoberfest which is held over 2 weeks from late September to early November in Munich Germany annually. Of similar nature, Wurstfest is a German tradition includes mainly beer drinking, feasting, dancing, singing, playing live musics.
Wurstfest story started in 1961 when the Mayor declared to honor sausage as the most delectable of all the local food. Organized as one-day affair on the first year, it was called ‘Sausage Festival’ before evolved to be ‘Wurst Week’ and finally ‘Wurstfest’.
Residing in Austin provided us an opportunity to experience the merriment of Wurstfest. By road, it took us less than 2 hours to arrive at a dedicated Wurstfest Complex located at Landa Park in New Braunfels.
What attracted us was the abundance of springs and Comal River that flows just beside this venue. There is a stretch of walkway along the river and folks were camping and fishing there too!
This fenced-up venue of Wurstfest Complex encompasses mainly three fixed structures namely Marktplatz, and Spass Haus. Apart from these, there was a set-up tent for live band stage and tables/benches for the crowd. Kids entertainment was also included with ferris wheel, slides, swinging boat and many more!
We proceed to explore MarktPlatz – the venue where beer, sausages, deserts and various kind of finger food were sold. Physically, there were two main alleys and it meant in total, there were four stretches of booths ranging from cotton candy, corn dogs, books, collectibles, gifts and of course, fabulous arrays of gourmet! It was so hard to make up my mind to pick my lunch.
At last, I went for five-type sausages on a stick. Wow! Guess there is hardly any place else to try as many as these in a day! We finished them while queuing for the most favorite desert at Marktplatz (judging from its queue which was the longest of all) – ‘Kartoffelpuffer mit Aptelmus und Wurst‘ or in simple English, it was actually ‘ Potato Pancakes with Apple Sauce and Sausage’.
Then, we proceeded to Wursthalle to be entertained by another group of live performers playing dance music. Youngs, olds and some even in tradition costumes were dancing and we just enjoyed sitting down and be part of the crowd.
The alley in between Wursthalle and Spass Haus (a beer tavern) provides a good spot as biergarten whereby folks were drinking in outdoor setting. A tour into Spass Haus which means ‘Fun House’ gave me a chance to check out all the collection of Wurstfest mugs produced since it was established.
If you observe at Marktplatz, the booths were manned by clubs or non-profitable organizations like Rotary Club. Wurstfest in short provides a vehicle for locals to raise some monies for community projects and in the mean time, this event helps to promote tourism and preserve community’s heritage of New Braunfels.
We left gratified.
p.s. To attend future Wurstfests: October 29-November 7, 2010; November 4-13, 2011; November 2-11, 2012. Or please visit Wurstfest website: www.wurstfest.com
178 Landa Park Drive
New Braunfels, TX 78130
Phone: (830) 6259167