Bavarian Blast closes on a high note

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt The congregation gathers for Mollie B’s special polka church service. This is the third year of the service, which continues to grow each year. See more photos on Page 12A

NEW ULM — Sunday saw the last blast for Bavarian Blast 2019. The festival started on Thursday came to close Sunday evening.

Blast director and treasurer Dodie Wendinger was unsure of the count for Sunday but estimated 2,000 could show on the last day.

Overall, Saturday had the highest attendance. The humidity of Friday kept many away, but they returned in full force Saturday. Wendinger said Saturday night was “phenomenal” in terms of attendance. Sunday, the morning continued the trend. Temperatures held between 75 and 80 degrees throughout the day. A sizeable crowd turned out as the gates were opening.

“There was a long line standing outside this morning to get in to see Mollie B,” Wendinger said.

Squeezebox with Mollie B held a special polka church service Sunday morning. The service featured popular polka tunes with Christian lyrics. This is the third year the band has held the service. Mollie B said it continues to grow each year. The Bavarian Blast tent was nearly full for the service.

The service combined elements of Catholic and Lutheran services. Mollie B took time to explain the different elements of the service for everyone’s benefit. She said one of the key elements in the service was forgiveness.

Mollie B’s sermon talked about the power of forgiveness by retelling Saul’s redemption on the road to Damascus and his new life as Paul.

The offering was taken in the service to help fight human trafficking. Mollie B said it was one of the top problems in the world and even happens in the United States.

At the close of the service, Mollie B sang Ave Maria and received a standing ovation from the congregation.

In the afternoon, the Bavarian Blast parade traveled from the fairgrounds south on State Street, then east on 6th North, before turning north on Jefferson and returning to the fairgrounds. The parade was well attended with families lining the streets along the entire route.

After the parade, Schell’s Hobo Band, Alpensterne, Austrian Express, and the Concord Singers took the stage one last time.

Free Fallin’–A Tribute to Tom Petty was the final performance of Bavarian Blast 2019. The main tent remained packed through to the end.