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Wurstfest is back, bigger and brighter than ever!

Locals in New Braunfels, Mayfair’s home base, will tell you there are two major holiday seasons in our community: Christmas and Wurstfest.

The ten day “salute to sausage” is a massive volunteer driven festival filled with music, food, and fun. This year, after a year off due to COVID and rebuilding of the Marktplatz and repairs to Wursthalle (necessary after a massive fire in 2019, weeks after the festival’s close), the Opas and Omas of Wurstfest are expecting record crowds. The fun kicks off on November 5th with the ceremonial eating of the first sausage, and runs through November 14th.

Are you a potential new resident planning to attend this year? Read on. Both regulars and newbies can make the most of the annual event by keeping a few pro tips in mind. Here are the wurst-kept secrets to help plan your visit:

Break out your dirndls and lederhosen

While proper German themed outfits are not required, they are a fun and colorful way to get into the spirit of Wurstfest. Throughout the festival you’ll see many of the most prominent citizens in New Braunfels wearing traditional German clothing, many of which have been carefully packed away, waiting for their moment to shine. From lederhosen – the heavy leather breeches, matching suspenders, and knee high socks – to dirndls – knee to ankle length dresses with petticoats and snug bodices – these outfits can become part of family traditions.

If you prefer to walk the halls in your shorts and a t-shirt, another way to show your Wurstfest spirit is to wear a silly hat. Everything from the traditional alpine hat decorated with pins and feathers to viking hats to the squid hats are welcome and encouraged. But, as organizers will tell you, the most important thing to wear is a smile.

Plan ahead and bring your patience 

Wurstfest tables

(Image Credit: Wurstfest)

Wurstfest is a massive festival and that means you are likely to experience lines and a lack of seating. You can combat both by attending during the week. Not only is it free to get in from Monday the 8th through Thursday the 11th, but the crowds are much smaller and made up of locals. In years past Thursday night was college night, so of the four weeknights of the festival it tends to be the busiest one.

Parking can be as rough as hiking the alps, so be sure to take advantage of one of the many shuttles – like the Wurst Wagen. This shuttle will carry you from Park & Rides to local accommodations.

Private tables? Not so much. The nice thing about Wurstfest is the large tables and benches are open for everyone and there’s rarely a problem with sitting down with another group. Who knows, you might even meet a great polka dance partner!

The Food is AMAZING

Accordion musician eating at Wurstfest(Image Credit: Wurstfest)

At Wurstfest the second greatest thing (we’ll get to the first in a moment) is the food. Several items are served “on a stick” (we highly recommend the pork chop on a stick, it’s incredible), which makes it easy to deal with in the crowds. Don’t miss traditional dishes like Kartoffelpuffer mit Apfelmus und Wurst (potatoes with applesauce and, of course, sausage), and definitely leave your calorie counter at home.  If you’d prefer more traditional carnival food, like fried cookie dough and turkey legs, you’ll find plenty of those options as well.

Wurstfest is a salute to: POLKA

Polka dancing at Wurstfest

(Image Credit: Wurstfest)

We mentioned food was the second greatest thing about Wurstfest – the first is the music. You’d be hard pressed to find a more passionate space filled with Alpine and Bavarian-style entertainment than at Wurstfest. With five stages (Wursthalle, Das Grosse Zelt, Das Kleine Zelt, Stelzenhaus or Stelzenplatz), there’s all kinds of flavors of polka music from rollicking traditional to contemporary polka crosses with pop music to country music.  All of it fun, all of it creating a genuinely good time.

There is one bit of sad news for the festival in 2021: this year, due to COVID travel restrictions, several of the international acts will not be performing. The good news is that crowd favorites, like the Grammy nominated and high energy accordion master Alex Meixner will be on hand, along with Jimmy Sturr and his Orchestra (who has won 18 Grammy Awards), International Polka Hall of Famers, Mollie B with Squeezebox and Ted Lange and other fun loving musical acts.

Taking “hold my beer” to a whole new level

Wurstfest attendee wearing a hat, with a beer

(Image Credit: Wurstfest)

No conversation about Wurstfest is complete without the masskrugstemmen. This competition involves a stein full of beer, an outstretch arm, and a determination to not spill a drop. Open to all comers, the individual who can hold their beer the longest, wins. The competition takes place Sunday, November 7th and registration is on site.

Kids fun at the carnival

Students on a carnival ride during Students Day at Wurstfest

(Image Credit: Wurstfest)

Family fun is definitely part of Wurstfest, with special children’s entertainment in Kinderhall. Families generally plan on attending during the week or during the day on the weekends to avoid a more boisterous crowd.

Sprechen sie FUN?

Crowds walking through Wurstfest at night

(Image Credit: Wurstfest)

Wurstfest is a way for our entire community to celebrate the proud German heritage of New Braunfels, a heritage we at Mayfair are glad to be part of now. We hope to see you waltzing and spinning on the dance floors at Wurstfest!

Featured Image Credit: Wurstfest

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