NEW ULM - The distinctive smell of sauerkraut and the German music of Concord Singers, fresh off performances in Hannibal and St. Charles, Mo., marked the start of Oktoberfest 2012 Friday at the Holiday Inn.
The Narren plus Miss New Ulm and her court danced hand-in-hand with children and adults as a pool side audience gobbled German fare and their favorite beverages.
"It's the atmosphere, the music," said Fernando Figueroa of Grey Eagle. "We introduced our four grandchildren to it today and they enjoy it. We've tried other German festivals but always come back to this one. It's spectacular. We come every year. We meet such wonderful people here. It's fun watching people come and dance all night long."
Staff photo by Fritz Busch
Oktoberfest 2012 gets underway with the Narren pool side Friday at the New UIm Holiday Inn. Festivities continue Saturday with live music noon to midnight in the Holiday Inn and from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Center & Minnesota Street downtown.
Hutchinson farmer Bart Nelsen said thanks to an early fall harvest with favorable weather, he's finally able to come to New Ulm's Oktoberfest.
"I've always heard about it and wanted to come," Nelsen said. "When we got all the crop off today, I told my wife (Flora) to get off work and come with me here. She's from the Philippines but enjoys German things."
Nelsen said he thinks its fun and important to maintain German traditions with things like Oktoberfest.
A German-American parade on Minnesota Street begins at 11 a.m. Saturday. Live bands at Center and Minnesota Street include Dain's Dutchmen from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Schell's Hobo Band, 2 to 4:30 p.m.; and City Mouse takes stage from 4:30 to 7 p.m.
German food include Bratwurst, potato salad, Sauerkraut, pretzels, Kettle Corn, Cheese Curds, locally-made fudge and fresh roasted nuts will be sold downtown.
Live music continues at noon pool side Saturday at the Holiday Inn with the Bockfest Boys, The Polka Beats, Concord Singers taking stage through midnight.
German Rivers Room music begins at 3:30 p.m. including the Wendinger Band. Costume contests with multiple cash and Otto's Bucks prizes will be held at around 7 p.m. Saturday.
Music continues at 6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 12 at the Holiday Inn and at noon pool side on Saturday, Oct. 13.
Dain's Dutchmen and the Wendinger Band will perform at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. respectively downtown on Saturday, Oct. 13. Family-friendly and art activities and more will be featured downtown.
For more information, visit www.newulmoktoberfest.com/
Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.