This series will feature a glimpse into small towns from all points of the compass, and how small towns can offer big adventures and lots of entertainment.
Need a weekend getaway between spring break and Memorial Day? Seeking that small town family atmosphere? Then look no further than Germanfest in quaint town of Muenster, along US Highway 82.
This three-day long celebration occurs at the intersection of Texas hospitality and German customs on the last full weekend of April each year.
Muenster was founded in 1889 by people of German heritage and Catholic faith. This unique community of approximately 1,500, located in North Texas, is a close-knit family in both kinship and kindred spirit.
The threads of common heritage and faith work together to create one of the biggest parties in Texas, called Germanfest. Be sure to bring a "guten apetit."
Tents packed with freshly-baked scrumptious strudel, German smoked sausage and cheese, homemade arts and crafts and live entertainment are just a portion of what is offered by vendors at the 35th Annual Germanfest sponsored by the Muenster Chamber of Commerce in the Muenster City Park.
Being a Muensterite, I have enjoyed this event on several occasions. In fact, I pack a cooler just to transport the German sausage and smoked cheese back to East Texas. Yes, it is that good.
General Germanfest admission on Friday and Sunday is $6 and Saturday’s gate tickets are $10 each. Fest hours are Friday from 4 p.m. until midnight, Saturday from 10 a.m. until midnight and Sunday 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.
The price of admission includes the opportunity to feast on award-winning barbeque from the Germanfest’s Annual BBQ Cook-Off. Those interested in bringing their pit master talents and smoker and competing in the sanctioned Lone Star Barbeque Society contest can do so by registering. Categories include brisket, pork spareribs, half chicken and sausage (sausage is furnished). Entry fee is $65. The barbeque contest grounds are located at west of Germanfest grounds at the southeast corner of US Hwy 82 and Ash St.
A $10 Saturday admission will buy ’fest-goers an evening of entertainment on the Texas Stage by famous country artist Mark Chestnutt beginning at 10 p.m. Opening for Chestnutt will be local favorite Shayne Wimmer and the Bois D’Arcs from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Ever heard of Nagelshlagen? This a German competition where a nail/spike is hammered into a tree stump by the contestants each taking turns to see who can hammer the spike into the stump with the least amount of hits. The winner goes to a finalist competition until there is only one grand champion. Finalists receive prizes and grand champion receives trophy. Competition starts Friday and ends Sunday.
For other active adventure seekers Germanfest offers a rock climbing wall and other carnival rides.
Fun for all ages, there is folk dancing performed by Alpenfest, a lively group from Houston and the Polka Kings of Lawton, Okla. along with two stages with non-stop entertainment spanning the three days. Children will be amazed by the balloon sculpture, face painting, sand art, and other children's activities available in the children's section.
There will also be continuous entertainment for the whole family including: mimes, magicians, clowns and storytellers, or the Karneval and Kinder Theater for the children.
Bicyclists and runners from across the Lone Star state trek to the well known Bicycle Rally held on Saturday, April 24 and the Germanfest Fun Run contest, with distances that include 5K and 15K, held on Sunday, April 25 that is capped by awards and a beer garden.
The courses are run over paved roads in the rolling hills north of Muenster. It is fast, scenic and challenging. The 35th Annual Knights of Columbus Germanfest Fun Run contest will be timed using the latest technology, Champion Chip timing. The first 1,000 participants receive a free T-shirt, free Sunday gate tickets and two free drink tickets (for beer or soft drinks). Registration can be done in person, by mail or online and cost is $25. Any profits from the races are channeled through the Muenster Knights of Columbus to various charitable organizations in Cooke County.
The Metric Century Bicycle Rally is in its 30th year. Entry fees are $30 per rider, and registration is at the Sacred Heart Community Center located on Main Street. The race goes on regardless of the weather (note: in all the years I have attended it almost always rains at least one day of the event.) Each rider will receive one free pass to the Germanfest grounds the day of the rally and two free drink tickets. Proceeds from this event benefit education for Sacred Heart School.
Muenster is located on U.S. Highway 82, 14 miles west of I-35, about 70 miles north of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
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