This year, Wein and Saengerfest is hosting its 14th annual festival. This wonderful celebration of all things German takes place each year on the first Saturday of May, (this time falling on May 6th). A unique sort of heritage festival, Wein & Saengerfest blends the traditions of early New Braunfels settlers with additional traditions and cultures that have been cemented into this city’s identity over the years.
And so, in celebration of this classic celebration, we put together a list of things that need to be on your radar if you plan on attending Wein and Saengerfest this year!
It goes without saying that wine is one of the fixtures of this “wein-derful” festival. (Get it?) For 2017, Wein and Saengerfest will feature wines from 18 different wineries in Texas, as well as other wineries from Germany and the American West Coast. You may recognize some wineries like Dry Comal Creek, Becker Vineyards, and Water 2 Wine, but please try out some others like Fiesta Winery, Copper Star Cellars, Dionisio Winery, and more! The cost is $15 for five tastings and includes a commemorative wine glass. Proceeds go to the New Braunfels Parks Foundation to enhance downtown parks!
2. Craft Beer
Another local staple is craft beer. New Braunfels and the surrounding areas have seen several breweries pop up over recent years, several gaining enough attention and popularity to hang right alongside the big boys in Austin. The festival will feature eleven different Texas breweries, each of which will offer two varieties for a sample. Breweries include Twisted X Brewery, Guadalupe Brewing Company, Pedernal es Brewing Company, and more. The Biergarten will be located at Seekatz Opera House at the festival and will cost $15 for four tasting tickets and a commemorative beer glass.
3. Music and Entertainment
It isn’t a festival in New Braunfels without stellar music and entertainment! This year, expect non-stop tunes across multiple stages from artists like All Mixed Up, Jason Eady, Biohazard Brass Band, The Peterson Brothers, and Uncle Lucius. What better way to spend the first Saturday in May than with good music and good drinks in the streets of New Braunfels with your friends and neighbors?
4. The Marktplatz
The Marktplatz is truly where the intentions of the festival come together. More than 26 local and regional artists and crafters will be selling homemade food and handmade artisan goods, encompassing a wide variety of trades. Booths will include bird feeders, antiques, salsa, stone carving, wind chimes, and so much more. Also, the festival falls on a Saturday...but have no fear! The New Braunfels Farmers Market will still be going on at its usual time.
The festival will take place in downtown New Braunfels, which means there are many yummy places to eat while you are checking out all of the events happening throughout the day! Go off-site and eat at places like McAdoo’s Seafood Company, Myron’s, and The Phoenix Saloon, and stop by 2Tarts Bakery or Naegelin’s Bakery for a little sweet treat. If you would rather partake in some traditional festival fare, there will be several food trucks on site from places like Maine-iac Seafood, Hwy Cafe, Kathy Ybor, Texas PO’ Boys, Kona Ice, and Coma-Q. Make sure you let this day be your “cheat day.”
6. Grape Stomp
Do a little something out-of-the-ordinary and participate in a grape stomp! If you are a wine aficionado, this is probably the most intimate time you get with the wonderful fruity beverage as you stomp away its infancy and begin the process to turning it into wine. (Tip: This is a really fun event for kids!) All we ask is that you stay safe - if you are familiar with videos going viral on the internet, you may remember the infamous Grape Stomp Lady who got a little too ahead of herself and took a bit of a tumble. Ow!
7. Chef Showdown
Get ready for the tastiest rivalry in town! Watch as six amateur chefs throw down in a competition to see who can create the best dishes from a basket of mystery ingredients. The event takes place in three rounds that will occur all day. Dishes will be judged on taste, creativity, presentation, wine pairing, and performance. The two winners of the heat matches will compete head-to-head at the end of the day in the showdown. If you are a fan of the Food Network (or just delicious food), you won’t want to miss this event!
8. Education on Drinks and Food
Another wonderful part of this festival is “WeinStein University,” a series of courses throughout the day for those who want to learn more about wine, food, and all things Wein and Saengerfest. The seminar “Bubbling Over With Joy” will serve up a champagne sorbet while you learn how to pair honey-goat cheese gelato and Henkel’s Blanc de Blanc. “Have Your Drink and Diet Too!” discusses proper portion sizes, calories, and healthy intake for a better lifestyle and healthy living. Other seminars throughout the day discuss craft beer pairings, German wine, craft beer cocktails, and a game show featuring wine and beer! Check the schedule for when your favorite classes are happening.
Kindermasken is one of New Braunfels oldest heritage traditions (founded in 1856 in celebration of children and NB heritage). Grab the kids, put on a costume, and march across town in celebration of the youth. If you are interested in walking in the event, be sure to be at the First Protestant Church at 11:00 AM with your costume ready and plenty of energy to march!
10. Street Dancing
Wrap up the day with the final music performance of the festival (Uncle Lucius) and let loose your dancing moves on the streets of New Braunfels! This is one of the favorite events of the festival because it provides such an open space to dance around and have fun, bringing the day to a close in the traditional New Braunfels way.