TOPEKA (KSNT) – The biggest celebration of German culture in Topeka is set to return this summer with food, music, auctions and beer at the 2023 Germanfest.
Sacred Heart-St. Joseph Parrish in Topeka has hosted its Germanfest celebration annually since 1974 as a way to celebrate the local community’s German roots. The event has flourished over the years since it got its start and now attracts crowds in the hundreds to the Oakland neighborhood for genuine German cuisine and music.
The event originally started as an ice cream social and picnic, later earning the name Junifest before being changed to Germanfest. The festival celebrates the German heritage of the church community which is closely tied to Volga-German immigrants.
“We encourage everyone to come out and celebrate our heritage and our traditions and our faith,” said Father Tim Haberkorn. “We want everyone to enjoy themselves and relax.”
Schedule of Events
Saturday, June 3, 2023
- 4 p.m. – Outdoor mass in German.
- 5 p.m. – German food line, Bier Garten and snack bar.
- 5-9 p.m. – Children’s inflatables, bouncy house, mini-train, clowning with twisted balloons.
- 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. – Silent auction.
- 7-11 p.m. – The Chardon Polka Band.
- 11 p.m. – Germanfest closes for Saturday night.
Sunday, June 4, 2023
- 8 a.m. – Indoor mass at St. Joseph Church
- 10 a.m. – German food line, Bier Garten and snack bar
- 10 a.m.-3p.m. – Games open, children’s inflatables, bouncy house, mini-train, clowning with twisted balloons, silent auction, jewelry booth, basket booth
- 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. – Silent auction
- 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. – The Chardon Polka Band
- 2 p.m. – Oral auction
There will be two types of drawings at the Germanfest: a $10,000 cash drawing and three $1,000 cash drawings. To win the $10,000 cash prize, you can buy tickets at $10 apiece or at $1 for a chance at the $1,000 cash prize.
Tickets for the drawing can be purchased at church bulletin stands or the Sacred Heart-St. Joseph Rectory. The cash prizes will be drawn during the oral auction.
- Germanfest Bier
- 4.6% ABV, 18 IBUs
- Light, bright and crisp
- 6.5% ABV, 16 IBUs
- Malty sweet pale lager beer
- 5.5% ABV, 14 IBUs
- Amber lager balanced hops
- Munich Dunkles
- 5.5% ABV, 7 IBUs
- Rich malt character with soft chocolate
A local brewery, The Blind Tiger, will also cater some beers at Germanfest. Budlight, Michelob Ultra, Cutwater Margarita and more will also be available.
Germanfest brings a variety of authentic German food for attendees to sample. Available options include:
- Pork & Sauerkraut
- German Sausage
- Noodles & Sage Balls
- German Potato Salada
- German Coleslaw
More familiar items like fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, dumplings and ham, green beans, rolls and other desserts will be on hand. Some menu items will be available on different days of the Germanfest.
Brat Trot 5k Run/Walk
This fundraiser for Holy Family Catholic School and Hayden Catholic High School will run around a section of road near Lake Shawnee. Participants of the 5k will run three laps around Tinman Circle with each lap measuring one mile in length.
This will be held on Saturday, June 10 at 8 a.m. with check-in starting at 7 a.m. inside Reynolds Lodge and costs $30. To register, click here.
For more information about what to expect at this year’s Germanfest, check out the flyer below! To see what last year’s Germanfest was like, click here.