[r63] Messmer Report: Celebrating our community's heritage - Strassenfest

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, July 29, 2011

Jasper and the surrounding towns have a rich German history. I have heard it said, and also believe, that Strassenfest is one of the finest festivals in the state.

Strassenfest began in 1979 when members of the Jasper business community wanted to continue the tradition of celebrating our communities' German heritage, which had not been celebrated since the Pioneer German Days festival in 1957.

This year Strassenfest if being held on August 4-7 and many of the same events are still being held more than 30 years later including: the beer garden, queen contest, carnival rides, the parade and the Wettlauf runs. The festival has grown along with the community though and many other fun events like the Autolauf road rally, polka masses, a hot air balloon race, the bed race, a scavenger hunt, fireworks and a variety of musical entertainment and performances have been added annually.

A great festival always includes tasty food and Strassenfest never disappoints. I once heard that more than1,300 pounds of bratwurst are eaten at Strassenfest every year. Take some time to check out the chili cook-off and BBQ contest, too.

Dubois County's tourism office had a few additional suggestions for activities during Strassenfest if you'd like to explore more of what our town has to offer. The newly constructed Jasper City Mill offers tours to see their old fashioned water mill that grinds cornmeal and they also have a country store. Also, the Spirit of Jaspertrain will offer special rides on Friday and Saturday. Both of these can be found on the Jasper Riverwalk and are easily reached from downtown.

Downtown Jasper comes alive during Strassenfest and it's so nice to see our neighbor and friends enjoying this summer celebration. It is one of my favorite times of the year and I have fond memories of the fun times I have had with my family over the years at the festival. You'll find me working at a variety of stands over the weekend with different groups that I'm a member of. I hope to see you there!