Guttenberg GermanFest is back in full force for the 27th annual event, voted one of the the top 20 events in Iowa. The popular event includes an open air arts and crafts market, biergarten, kraut cook-off, hog roast, homemade beer tasting, lots of live music, food vendors, a 5K walk/run, kids' games, chalk drawing, wiener dog races, performances by the UNI Dancers, and much, much more!
The event kicks off this Friday evening with an open air market, hog roast and live music by Barefoot Becky & the Ivanhoe Dutchmen in the biergarten. The Open Air Market will begin at 3 p.m. on Friday and at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Vendors include direct sales businesses along with artists and craftspeople selling handmade goods like metalwork, woodcarvings and burnings, purses, jewelry, skin care and bath products, antiques, and much more.
A tasting of the Pearl Street Brewery's Lederhosen Lager will be offered in the biergarten on Friday night. The lager will be available on tap in the beer tent throughout the festival. Pearl Street Brewery, located in La Crosse, was founded by brewmaster Joe Katchever and his father in 1999 in a small, subterranean brewhouse on Pearl Street. The Lederhosen Lager is a marzen-style Oktoberfest lager brewed seasonally for limited release. Using Pilsen and Vienna malts and true German lager yeast, and spiced with Hallertau pair hops, the 5.5% ABV amber beer is malted and easy to drink. "Lederhosen Lager is Pearl Street Brewery's salute to La Crosse's great German heritage and the 150-year brewing tradition here," say creators.
Other beverages offered in the beer tent throughout the weekend include Schell Oktoberfest, Samuel Adams Octoberfest and Coors Light, as well as Palm Breeze, Mike's Hard Lemonade and PromiseLand wines.
Beer lovers should also check out the popular home-brew tasting, offered on Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. Those who enjoy stout, pale ale, pilsner, and wheat beer can sip and compare local suds. Festival-goers are asked to make a free will donation for the people's choice ballot. Ballots will be collected and the winner announced in the Main Tent when the tasting concludes. A $50 cash prize will be given to the people's choice winner and $25 for second place.
Homebrewers are invited to enter the contest for free and can enter as many brews as they want. The entry consists of six bottles of beer with labels. Samples may be delivered to Cornerstone Family Practice in Guttenberg by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21, or at the GermanFest Homebrew Tasting at 11 am on Saturday, Sept. 23. Amateur beermakers may register here.
Two events at this year's GermanFest celebration cater especially to canine members of the community. Registration for both will take place prior to each event on Saturday in the information tent, and there will be prizes awarded in both events. Friendly dogs of all breeds over four months old are invited to strut their stuff and show off any special tricks or talents they may have. Pets are welcomed and encouraged to express their love of GermanFest in their leashes, collars, or costumes. Fixed length leashes and proof of up-to-date vaccinations are required for participation. The ever-entertaining wiener dog dash will take place once again, and daschunds of all ages and sizes are called to race for victory at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23. These races have become a common tradition at many Octoberfests around the country for obvious reasons. Click here for a complete list of rules.
Click here for a full list of live entertainment, or here for a list of games and activities going on throughout the festival. To stay up-to-date with the latest additions to the event, visit Guttenberg GermanFest on Facebook.
Photo courtesy of Guttenberg GermanFest.