Bavarian Blast off to a fast, if rainy, start

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt Mollie B opens her musical set playing the keyboard. Before the end of her performance she would play half a dozen musical instruments including the alphorn.

NEW ULM — Friday was the first full day of Bavarian Blast 2018 and the crowds were determined to have a good time, rain or shine.

Under the main tent audiences were serenaded by the music of the Concord Singers, Squeezebox with Mollie B, Alpensterne and Alex Meixner all through the day.

Rain only interfered with festivities for a short time. Just before 5 p.m., near the end of Mollie B’s second set, the rain began to fall. The shower lasted for an hour, but most guests were content to find shelter under the tents and listen to the music of Alpensterne.

A similar shower hit the Pre-Blast show on Thursday, but Bavarian Blast board member Dodie Wendinger said the weather did not slow things down.

“(Thursday) night was marvelous,” Wendinger said. “I’ve never seen such enthusiasm in a crowd. They were blown away by ‘Rumours and Dreams’ and the Neil Diamond cover band.”

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt Al Zwach takes a bite of German Potato salad. The potato salad always goes well, but nothing will beat the popularity of the spätzle and sauerkraut, said the food servers.

Wendinger said the pre-Blast attendance was strong for a rainy day.

“We had 780 people here and they didn’t leave even when it rained,” she said. “They just moved further into the tents.”

The same thing happened Friday. During the worst of the downpour, people huddled in the center of the tents and avoided the edges.

The rain did slow down beer and cheese curd sales, but a few of the volunteers took advantage of the downtime to dance to Alpensterne

‘s cover of “Piano Man” called “Accordion Man.”

A few individuals with umbrellas moved back and forth from the music tent to the beer tent.

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt Alex Meixner and his band give an energetic performance of “Why Die Thirsty” under the Schell’s Tent. See more photos on page 8A, and on

The rains stopped shortly after 6 p.m. Although the storm put a momentary damper on the festivities, many in attendance preferred the cooler weather compared to the typical stifling late July heat.

Prior to the rain, the temperatures held in the mid 70s with a slight breeze. After the showers it remained comfortably cool.

The festival grounds began to fill up with people once the sun returned. This included a pair of Minnesota Viking Cheerleaders who showed up to celebrate Bavarian Blast. The cheerleaders were on hand to take pictures with fans and raise money for the Minnesota Vikings Foundation. The cheerleaders even led the crowds in a SKOL chant.

Church of Cash and Wild Angels performed Friday’s evening show. Church of Cash is a Johnny Cash cover band and is a fan favorite in New Ulm. Wild Angels is an all women Rock, Pop and Country cover band.

Bavarian Blast will continue 8 a.m. today with the annual 5K/10K. The Wiener Dog Race starts at 1:30 p.m. Barrel Racing is at 3:30 p.m. and the Sauerkraut Eating Contest is at 5:30 p.m.

The music will starts 11 a.m. The Concord Singers, Squeezebox with Mollie B, Alpensterne and Alex Meixner will take the stage again. Water’s Wheelhouse and Blue Ringers will play the evening shows.