BRISTOL – The Lutheran Emmanuel Church’s annual German festival returned with beer, country food, entertainment and more on Friday and Saturday.
“I love it,” said Karen Miller. “My mother went to school here. Music is my favorite part. I love the Ooompah. It cheers me up. ”
Miller said she had the opportunity to visit Germany in the past while serving in the Navy and enjoyed attending festivals abroad. She also said her family had been a member of the church for many years.
“The food is really good and the potato pancakes are excellent,” said visitor Sheila Rickard and Miller’s friend. “Sauerkraut tastes homemade. I come to support my friends.
“We have a great team of volunteers who come together every year to put this in place. It’s an achievement, ”said festival president Rhoda Lange. “We have a church that is over 125 years old and a day school that has been in operation for a very long time. Members have always had some kind of German meal every year. We called it the sauerkraut supper. About seven years ago we decided that we were a German church with a German heritage and we wanted to share it outside.
She said the church members then decided to create an annual festival and urged it to grow every year.
Among this year’s events was a stein outfit competition. A mug is often thought of as a large mug to hold beer. Participants held on to a suit for as long as they could. The German-American festival group Alpine Squeeze provided the music for the weekend. A section for sellers has been reserved. A life-size board game was available for children as well as an inflatable obstacle course.
“This is the sixth annual festival,” said Pastor Kevin Karner. “We were happy because every year we added something new and the crowds followed. We feel like now we are established and this is something we probably should have done a long time ago. It was well received by the community and we are grateful for the wonderful weather. This is our first year for the children’s area.