GEMÜTLICHKEIT (warm friendliness, good cheer)
“Willkommen zum WURSTFEST! Prosit, und hab’ Spasz!” is the slogan for this really appealing annual event. It means “Welcome. Cheers! To your health, and have fun!”
Combining a unique German community in South Texas, great food, fabulous bands imported from Germany for the occasion, amusement rides, affordable entry, a well-run event and often beautiful weather, the New Braunfels, Texas, “Wurstfest” has all the ingredients of a great family outing. (Plenty of local accommodations available, as this is an area where “gemütlichkeit” is plentiful and tourists are welcome.)
New Braunfels is located just a few miles north of San Antonio, Tx., which offers a full array of activities to include in your schedule – Fiesta Texas, Sea World, the Alamo, the RiverWalk, and wonderful Mexican food and markets, should you wish to make this a multicultural adventure.
Having just returned from a lovely evening at Wurstfest, I’m compelled to tell you how much fun it is. We began on a perfect fall evening unable to resist the smell of the sizzling pork chops and huge German sausages served on a stick, complimented by a great selection of beers, potato soup, German dinners, Reuben sandwiches, corn on the cob – and more — and ended our evening with pfankuchen, funnel cake and coffee.
We rode the beautiful Ferris wheel and then settled under Das Grosse Zelt, the big tent, at the end of the Marktplatz to be charmed by the 10-piece brass band from Germany whose rousing tunes got everyone up and dancing – just as many kids as adults, and partners not at all required. They were only topped by the band that followed.
This Wurstfest, the celebration of German sausage, began in New Braunfels in 1961, just a one-day affair which nonetheless drew a crowd of 2,000 due to press coverage throughout the nation and in Germany.
Since then, it has grown to a ten-day affair with well-maintained permanent facilities drawing over 100,000 and raising many dollars for local charities. Your good time will also be a good deed!
You can learn more about Wurstfest at their official website: http://www.wurstfest.com/index.html , and from the Wurstfest Association, Post Office Box 310309, New Braunfels, Texas 78131-0309, 830/625-9167, or toll free 1-800-221-4369.
Admission is a mere $8.00 per person (children under 12 free), with special rates for early purchase, groups, and day discounts.
If Wurstfest dates should ever coincide with the 3rd Sunday in October (and even if they don’t), make it a homerun by including public dancing at Anhalt Hall, just down the road apiece, about 28 miles west of New Braunfels.
Anhalt was settled by German pioneers around 1857 and this may be the oldest dance hall in Texas, with a newly renovated 6000 square foot hardwood dance floor usually featuring a German band (you MUST do the German Grand March) and then a C&W band (local talent).
It’s open air and you can sit in the grandstands and watch or pay to get on the dance floor. Kids welcome and great food and beer. It is run by the Germania Farmers Verein, originally established to protect the settlers and their livestock from Indians. It’s out in the country and an experience you don’t want to miss.
How far out in the country? Well, according to the website, in the 1970s “the population along Anhalt Road between Farm Road 475 and the hall was estimated at ten.” Population figures for 2009 were not available.
Admission and ample parking are free; there’s a minimal charge ($7?) if you want to get on the dance floor (which you will)!
To read more about Anhalt, go to the Texas Honky Tonk Dance Hall website: http://www.honkytonktx.com/dancehalls/
They also feature public dancing during Mayfest (3rd Sunday in May), and Summerfest (last Saturday in July).
About the Author
©Susan Dunn, MA, Personal Life & EQ Coach, http://www.susandunn.cc . Offering coaching, Internet courses and ebooks for your personal and professional development. Mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org for free EQ ezine. I train and certify EQ coaches. Email for info on this fast, affordable, comprehensive, no-residency program.
Written by: Susan Dunn, MA, Personal Life & EQ Coach