Mount Angel's sixth annual Wurstfest is this weekend, Feb. 28 and March 1, at the Mount Angel Festhalle
Crazy costumes, beaded necklaces and a party atmosphere will descend on Mount Angel Saturday night for a celebration of Fasching, German mardi gras. It all happens during Wurstfest, the annual sausage-inspired festival beginning Friday.
Oktoberfest isnt the only Mount Angel festival attracting crowds craving oompah music, German beer and sausage. The sixth annual Wurstfest celebrates all things German with music, dancing, costumes and, of course, many varieties of wurst or sausage, along with beer and wine. The two-day event starts this Friday morning and continues through Saturday at the Mount Angel Community Festhalle.
Wurstfest is a low-key way to sample the German traditions of Mount Angel. The festival attracts crowds numbering in the thousands rather than the Oktoberfests hundreds of thousands. Although Wurstfest is a far smaller scale event than Oktoberfest, Wurstfest organizer Kathy Wall said the festival has been generating a lot of interest and she expects an increase in attendance this year.
Wurstfest attendees are encouraged to don costumes Saturday evening for Fasching, a special event new to this years festival. Fasching begins at 5 p.m. Saturday and includes an indoor parade and prizes for best costume. In German-speaking countries, Fasching is the carnival celebration preceding Lent. Wall said during the Fasching celebration they will be handing out beaded necklaces and all children in costume will receive a voucher for a free hot chocolate.
Wurstfest isnt just for the over 21 crowd. Children are welcome at this family-friendly event, Wall said. Organizers have expanded the childrens Kindergarten area, which includes a crafting corner where children and their parents can build a jester hat or make a Fasching mask. Also entertaining young attendees will be face painters, balloon artists and lessons in soap carving.
We really talk it up as a family-friendly festival, said Wall. The kids love to watch the dancers and, of course, eat the sausage.
Wurstfest is ultimately a festival celebrating German sausage. Area sausage makers will showcase 15 varieties of their wurst including: bratwurst, currywurst, frickadelwurst and 12 others variations which may be garnished with sauerkraut, grilled onions and local Monastery Mustard. An array of German beer and wine will be available to accompany the wurst.
The oompah of German-themed music will run continuously during the events two days. A festival favorite includes Mount Angel group Z Musikmakers, a mix of family and friends that plays both traditional and Bavarian-inspired music. Also entertaining the more than 4,000 people expected at Wurstfest will be two local dance troupes, the Kleinstadtlers and the Fleckensteiners. Kleinstadtler means small-town resident and this local group of young couples started dancing together as a way to express their German heritage. They put a modern twist on traditional Bavarian dancing.
Before hitting the festival for lunch on Saturday, runners and walkers will have the chance to participate in the Wurst 5K Run and Walk. The fun run begins at 10:30 a.m. winding its way along the streets of Mount Angel. The course includes challenging hills and the $24 race entry fee includes entry to Wurstfest along with a bierstein and beverage.
Wurstfest also includes a variety of vendors selling local and German-inspired foods, including cheeses, baked goods and chocolates, along with clothing and crafts.
The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Admission for people 21 and up is $5, or $10 with a specialty stein or glass.
Anyone under 21 will be admitted free with an adult and may stay until 10 p.m.
For more information, see the festival website at www.mtangelwurstfest.com.