St. Henry Heinrichsdorf Fest returns this weekend


ST. HENRY — The St. Henry Heinrichsdorf Fest is back for its 59th year.

The St. Henry Community Club will host the annual festival from 5:30 p.m. to midnight Friday and 5 p.m. to midnight Saturday. Unlike last year, which consisted only of drive-thru dinners due to COVID-19 concerns, activities such as a tractor show and live entertainment are a welcome return, said Carie Sitzman of the St. Henry Community Club.

“It feels great to be back,” she said. “I’m sure everybody is ready to get out.”

In addition to St. Henry’s locally famous barbecue chicken, which was created by a St. Henry local in the 1970s, the festival will also have hamburgers, ice cream provided by the St. Henry Volunteer Fire Department, other desserts provided by the Christian Mothers and more.

The Beer Garden, Family Room and other food booths will be open both evenings. Admission is free, besides tickets to the Beer Garden. Dinners will begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday and 5 p.m. Saturday.

There will be a tractor show and a kiddie pedal pull put on by the 4-H Club, both at 1 p.m. Saturday. Live entertainment will include DJ Tech Tunes Friday and Studebaker, a band playing “classic rock with a touch of country,” according to its Facebook page, on Saturday beginning at 7 p.m.

Sitzman estimated that usually, the festival sells around 1,000 dinners each year. Not everyone who visits eats, so there are probably more than 1,000 festivalgoers each year.

There will be hand wash and sanitizer stations, and tables will be more distanced than usual, but otherwise the festival will not have any COVID-19 restrictions, Sitzman said. Masks are encouraged but not required. If for some reason the festival is canceled due to COVID-19, drive-thru dinners will still be available and more details will be available on the St. Henry Facebook page.

“We’re not expecting that to happen at this point, but just to be safe,” Sitzman said. “Hopefully everything will run smoothly.”

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