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Mardi Gras: Celebrating the wurst with a Bavarian twist and mustard

By Don MurthaMt. Angel Wurstfest

Sausage, strudel, pretzel, beverages, dancing, non-stop music and a lot of fun will make Mount Angel’s fourth annual Wurstfest come alive.

“In keeping with Mount Angel’s German tradition our pre-Lenten festival is an Old World-style event with something for everyone,” said Mary Grant, co-chair. “Wear your lederhosen or your dirndl and join the fun.”

Sponsored by the Mount Angel Chamber of Commerce, the Wustfest is 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Feb.17 and 18. Admission is $10, which includes a half-liter souvenir Bavarian beer mug. Children accompanied by an adult are admitted free.

Proceeds from the Wurstfest will help fund Mount Angel Chamber of Commerce projects. Among them are the annual Fourth of July fireworks, the lush flower baskets hung every year throughout the city and a planned new sheltered and lighted kiosk located at the corner of  West College an North Main Streets.

Mount Angel Chamber of Commerce
fourth annual Wurstfest

Feb.17 and 18,
11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Mount Angel Festhalle,
500 S. Wilco Hwy

“We hope to have the kiosk finished by early summer and we are very grateful to Gem Equipment Co. which donated material and their services and to the volunteers who are helping,” Grant said.

Vendors will come from as far away as Portland to provide artisan breads, cheeses, schnitzel, Rueben sandwiches, a variety of sausages, local beers and imported German beers, regional wines, arts and crafts and other products.

“In the past we had only sausages and we have broadened our offerings to appeal to a wider group of people,” Grant said.

“Visitors should bring grocery bags to take stuff home, there will be that much,” Grant said.

The Wurstfest committee is made up entirely of volunteers, Grant said. “We couldn’t do it without them. Some have even got their OLCC licenses on their own so they can serve alcoholic beverages.

“It will be a really fun time,” Grant said. “I’m really excited about it.”

Music will be provided by several groups both local and from outside the area.

Volunteer Marilyn Hall said adult and teen dancers will perform at the Wurstfest. She is drawing comic sketches and  making balloon animals for the event. Hall said students at St. Mary’s School are learning a simple dance that will entitle each of them to a coupon for a balloon animal.

Pete Wall,  Chamber of Commerce president and a member of the Wurstfest committee, said the festival is one of the chamber’s major fundraisers.

Wall said there are 12 members of the Wurstfest committee. In addition to the festival, Wall listed the First Citizen Awards, August’s National Night Out, the Kris Kringle program and the downtown Christmas decoration program as opportunities for people to get involved.

“We are an active community,” Wall said. “We are busy year round and everything in this town gets done by volunteers. Most do double duty and volunteer rates are low compared to hired people. Still we need funds to make things go.”

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