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Bavarian Blast: German wins sauerkraut eating contest

19 people compete

July 22, 2012
By Fritz Busch - Staff Writer , The Journal

NEW ULM - A 21-year-old German exchange student won the Bavarian Blast Sauerkraut Eating Contest Saturday at the Brown County Fairgrounds.

Valentine Gasteiger, who is participating in an agricultural foreign student exchange program and is living near Red Wing this summer, ate 16 ounces of sauerkraut in about two minutes, finishing ahead of 18 other people.

"I like it. I've never been in a contest like this before, but I eat a lot of sauerkraut," Gasteiger said after winning the contest without noticeably spilling any sauerkraut on himself.

Article Photos

Staff photo by Fritz Busch
Gene Buhr of Albert Lea, second from left, finished second in the Bavarian Blast Sauerkraut Eating Contest Saturday. Sleepy Eye native Travis Keil, now of Minneapolis, is at far left.

Gene Buhr of Albert Lea finished second in the contest for the second straight year.

"It was good, I was hungry which helped it go down," Buhr said. Joel Reiman of Austin was third.

Contestants included Miss New Ulm Kelsey Sabatino, Sleepy Eye native Travis Keil, now living in Minneapolis; a woman who said he earlier won a sauerkraut eating contest at a glockenspiel in St. Paul and a traveling musician.

Earlier in the evening, "Twiggy" owned by Ariel McFarland, won the wiener dog race, finishing ahead of four other dogs.

On Sunday, the Two Mommies Craft Fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the New Ulm Civic Center.

Kinderfest activities include Flemming Fold family music from 2 to 3 p.m., magician Gary Tyson, 3 to 4 p.m., Flemming Fold 4 to 5 p.m. and Tyson 5 to 6 p.m.

Music continues in the August Schell tent at 11 a.m. and concludes with Sandra Lee & the Velvets Post-Blast Party. A $5 ticket is good for all day.

Schell tent entertainment includes the Einhausen Musik Corps Band from Germany 11 a.m. to noon, Herborn Seelbach from Germany from 2 to 3:30 p.m., Alex Meixner, 3:30 to 5 p.m.; the Concord Singers 5 to 6 p.m. and the Grand Finale at 6 p.m.

Schell's Hobo Band performs from 2 to 3 p.m. and the New Ulm Municipal Band 4 to 5 p.m. on the KNUJ stage.

For more information, visit

Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at



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