Fruhlingsfest German festival is Saturday


PIE EATING CONTEST — Competitors participate in the 2019 Fruhlingfest pie eating contest. Organizers with the Warrenton Downtown Association plan to bring the spring festival back on June 12. Warrenton Downtown Association photo.
By: 
Adam Rollins
Staff Writer

A celebration of Warrenton’s German heritage and community is this weekend on Main Street. Fruhlingsfest is back for its second year on Saturday, June 12, aiming to revive a spring festival that was once an annual tradition.

The Warrenton Downtown Association has lined up an assortment of vendors and activities for the festival, with Main Street businesses joining in on the fun as well. Main Street will be closed to vehicle traffic beginning at 3 p.m. for setup, with the festival being held from 4-8 p.m., said co-organizer Maggie Hase.

“I think everybody is looking forward to getting out and being active. We’re expecting a big crowd this year,” Hase commented.

The first event of the day is actually at 8 a.m. A 5K run/walk is being hosted in the downtown area, with its starting line at the Warren County Courthouse on Main Street. Registration will be open Saturday morning from 7:15-7:45 a.m., costing $30 for adults and $25 for students, and includes a T-shirt.

5K organizers are also running a contest for the best German attire among the racers.

That German theme will be sprinkled around several aspects of the festival, Hase said. The live music for the day is Joe Polach and the St. Louis Express band, bringing polka and German dance music to Main Street, while several restaurants will have special German-themed menu items available just for that day.

Hase said one of the events she’s most excited for is pie eating contests that start at 5:30. There will be three different age categories for the participants, and all the pies are being donated by Olive’s Bakery. When Fruhlingsfest was first revived in 2019 after not being held for decades, Hase said the pie eating contest was a memorable event that they wanted to bring back. It proved popular with people of all ages.

“Basically, we have a table set up, they’re all lined up, and they have to hold their hands behind their back and eat the pies,” Hase described. “The kids just have so much fun with it ... and the adults are quite a spectacle. The crowd was going crazy cheering them on (in 2019).”

Hase said about 15 commercial vendors will be present on Main Street for visitors to browse at the festival. They’ll bring a variety of handcrafted artisan items for sale, along with sellers for ice cream and snacks.

Hase said she was also enthusiastic that the Warrenton Fruhlingsfest is included in a passport brochure of Main Street events around Missouri during the state’s bicentennial year. Downtown association members will have the passport brochures available for people who want to visit other Missouri community events.

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