By Levi Wright
Saturday Wurst Festival returns this weekend to Amana Colonies to showcase more than 160 years of German culture in Iowa.
Amana was founded in 1855 and has since become a tourist attraction featuring many businesses, such as Millstream Brewery, the oldest in Iowa. The colonies are known for being a self-reliant community. Many of the Amana residents are fluent in German, and they conduct religious services in the language. The Wurst Festival pairs well with their German heritage, highlighting the fun and food that German culture has to offer.
“I think with this event, it attracts a very broad range of ages,” said Tammara Baker, the events coordinator for the Amana Colonies. “It’s upbeat, funny, has very quirky things like Dean Weaner and Wurst University. It has things that are really different and fun. For people who like sausage, it’s a little piece of heaven.”
Wurst Festival, a sausage-based festival, brings in sausage makers in the area, and patrons can purchase the goods. They can get dishes made with the sausage, or if they really like it, they can purchase a whole case called the “Wurst Case Scenario.” Patrons can also vote on what their favorite sausage is by casting their votes, which is called the “Wurst choice.”
A $5 charge covers samples from vendors for every participant.
In 2015, Wurst Festival was created and received the “Best New Event in Iowa” award. Since then, the awareness of the event has increased and participation has grown. One tradition remains: It takes place over Father’s Day weekend.
“This year, I think we could as much as double [attendance], based on the early response. People are excited,” said Jim Mohnie, a coordinator of the event. “There are more activities now, too. We added new foods. For example, last year we had wurst eggs, which is a hard-boiled egg wrapped in seasoned sausage, and there’s a dipping sauce that goes along with that pairs very, very well with a cold beer on a hot afternoon.”
In the past, there has been music, beer, wine, and of course, sausage. In addition, this year will host the Dachshund Derby.
“Ladies, put on your Dirndls, and gentlemen it’s time to break out the Lederhosen as we eat, drink, and have the Wurst time you could possibly have,” Amana Colonies wrote on its website.
When: June 17
Where: Amana Colonies, 622 46th Ave., Amana