New preview event is prep for StrassenfestJuly 12, 2019
By ALLEN LAMAN
JASPER — Jasper’s annual Strassenfest will arrive sooner than normal in 2019.
From 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, the Jasper German Club will host a new event called “StrassenVORfest,” a play on the festival name that refers to a “prep for the fest.”
Housed at Jasper’s Moose Lodge, the get-together is free to attend, and will include German dancing lessons, singing and other activities for attendees of all ages. Food and traditional German clothing — such as lederhosen and dirndls — will also be available for purchase.
Van Ziegler, president of the Jasper German Club, said the event is a preview of things to come in early August.
“We want people just to have fun, and to learn,” Ziegler said.
The 41st annual Strassenfest will take place Aug. 1-4. Ziegler said the club is treating this first-ever StrassenVORfest as a pilot, but it could become a regular part of the lead-in to Jasper’s summer German festival for years to come.
The possibility of hosting the event had been on Ziegler’s mind for a while, and after running it by the Strassenfest committee and the German Club’s board of directors, he was given the green light to launch it.
Operators of the visitors booth at Strassenfest regularly field the question, “What’s there to do?” The StrassenVORfest aims to answer this question for families, and help them make sense of the many activities that are part of the four-day festival.
This helps people know what parts of the fest are relevant to them, and helps with planning.
“If they come to the StrassenVORfest, they’re going to learn more about the festival,” Ziegler said. “About how they can enjoy all the free stuff that’s there, and really make all their days meaningful.”
Decorations for homes and offices will also be sold, as well as 2019 Strassenfest buttons and mugs, and souvenir Strassenfest items. A free gift bag containing German flags and coupons from local businesses will be given to the first 200 families to register.
A Strassenfest wood cut-out from the early 1990s will also be available for photos, and activities for kids like pin the tail on the donkey and coloring in German coloring books will also be offered.
Ziegler explained the event is also part of the German Club’s movement to bring in new members.
“Club attendance has been going up,” he said. “We have a lot more activities that we’re doing now. I think the excitement is kind of just ... it was there, but we’re trying new things, and we’re attracting new people.”
A full event schedule for Strassenfest can be found at JasperStrassenfest.org/events.
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