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Wurstfest begins 10-day run with sausage, beer, and polka

A crew on Thursday installed a new sign at Wursthalle.JPG
Brian Kirkpatrick
Texas Public Radio
A crew on Thursday installed a new sign to the main entrance of Wursthalle

Organizers say more than 250,000 visitors are expected during the 10-day run of Wurstfest, which opens this weekend at Landa Park in New Braunfels.

It is making a comeback from a major 2019 fire and the pandemic. The event began in 1961 to celebrate the town's local sausage making, but today it features not only sausage, but other German foods along with beer and live polka performances.

Wurstfest Executive Director Suzanne Herbelin said Wursthalle has been restored after the fire and visitors should find the Marktplatz better than the old one that burned down.

Marktplatz has a new look.JPG
Brian Kirkpatrickj
Texas Public Radio
Marktplatz has a new look after 2019's devastating fire.JPG

"The marktplatz is entirely new. I think people will really enjoy what we have done there. It's different, but it's fun. We think the traffic will flow well. We think the vendors have more space," she said.

Herbelin said visitors should wear comfortable shows because there is a lot of ground to cover to take in all the live musical entertainment, Wursthalle, and the beer and food vendors, who are local non-profits who use the event as their major fundraiser of the year.

"We have entertainment in five different areas," she said. "You'll want to catch as many of that as you can. And then our food vendors are spread out among three different areas."

There are also a number of retail vendors, selling beer mugs, hats, pins, clothing and other wares.

Musical headliners are Grammy winner Jimmy Sturr, Alex Meisner, and Molly B with Squeezebox and Ted Lange.

Weekend tickets are $18 dollars online at Wurstfest.com or $20 at the gate. It's free to enter Monday through Thursday and there's a buy one ticket get one free ticket offer on Sundays.

Beer pitchers range from $29 to $36 , depending on whether the suds are domestic or imported.

Herbelin said fans of Wursfest can help support the event by ordering online a custom brick with your name or another person's name engraved into it during a campaign called "Help Pave the Way". The bricks will be placed in the Marktplatz breezeway and entrance to Wurstfest.

Bricks installed on the grounds of Wurstfest JPG
Brian Kirkpatrick
Texas Public Radio
Bricks installed on the grounds of Wurstfest as part of a fundraising campaign

A 4x8 brick costs $100, but larger bricks range from $250 to $2,500. Many of the large bricks are sponsored by local businesses. The bricks can be ordered at wurstfest.com.

Wurstfest ends on Sunday, Nov. 14,

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Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at brian@tpr.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian