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Festival season begins in the city of festivals

Bavarian Blast starts Thursday, but it is also the kickoff for a season worth of festivals and events.

For the next few months, New Ulm will either be celebrating a festival or be a few days away from the next city event. Most towns and cities have a local festival to celebrate the community, but New Ulm has several to the point it is sometimes called “The City of Festivals” by visitors. It is a well earned nickname.

Look to the schedule of city events. Bavarian Blast starts the festival season, brining thousands of people the fairgrounds each day. Last year, roughly 3,500 people purchased day passes on Saturday. The Bavarian Blast Parade on Sunday is likely attended by even more.

Two days after Bavarian Blast ends, the 56th National Festival of the American Turners begins. The American Turnverein Annual Festival is the oldest continuing sports festival in the United States. It is held in a different Turner city every four years. This is the first time New Ulm’s Turner Hall will play host to the athletic festival. Throughout the city, athletes will be compete in gymnastics, track & field, swimming, volleyball and other events. In the evening, musical celebrations will be held in Turner Park.

A few days after the Turner festival on Aug. 4, a three day sand volleyball competition will happen downtown on Minnesota Street. This is another new event coming to the city. Around 800 tons of sand will be deposited on Minnesota Street between Center and 1st North. At least 50 volleyball teams will be competing downtown in the tournament.

The volleyball tournament will end Aug. 6 and then three days later on Aug. 9 the Brown County Fair starts. That’s four weekends in a row where New Ulm will host an event drawing people into the community.

After the fair, there will be a month long break before HermannFest, the second weekend of September. Many lament the fact that New Ulm does not have fireworks on the Fourth of July, but they have them for HermannFest, as well as a dozen cannons.

Less than a month after HermannFest, Oktoberfest begins. New Ulm celebrates both weekends. In late October, there is Halloween. While not technically a city festival, anyone who has seen State Street on Oct. 31 would count it.

There is an argument the festival season does not close until the end of the year. November has a citywide craft fair called GnomeMade Market and after Thanksgiving there is the Parade of Lights before the Christmas events begin.

It is a credit to the countless volunteers that make these events happen as well as community support.

The festivals are great a bringing people to community, but its also a great way to keep people in New Ulm.

There is always something happening in here.

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