TOPEKA (KSNT) – After a two-year hiatus, the Germanfest is coming back to Topeka to share some old-fashioned German culture and cuisine with the community.
The Germanfest has deep roots in Topeka, beginning with its ties to the Sacred Heart-St. Joseph Churches. Officially, the summer festival got its start in 1973 as a hot dog and ice cream social but has since blossomed into an event focused on sharing German arts and crafts, food and culture with all who attend.
According to Sacred Heart-St. Joseph’s priest, Father Tim Haberkorn, Germanfest is a time to remember the local community’s connection to Germany and Russia. Many immigrants from both countries came to Topeka and settled in places like Oakland and Little Russia.
“I think its our way of expressing our gratitude for our ancestors who came from Germany and Russia, to honor them,” Haberkorn said. “We always begin with the celebration of our faith with the outdoor mass so everything flows from that. Faith, culture and tradition that’s been passed down over the years expressed in food and crafts.”
The key draws for the Germanfest are its Bier Garden, oral and silent auctions, carnival games for children and more. Genuine German food such as sauerbraten, grebble, sauerkraut and krautstrudel will also be sold to the beat of The Chardon Polka Band. A $10,000 cash prize will also be given away during the event along with smaller cash awards.
“I would just invite anyone to come, there’s something for everyone,” Haberkorn said. “There’s plenty to see and do and taste. It’s a great opportunity for families to come out.”
The Germanfest will get started on Saturday, June 4 at 4 p.m. with mass and will be open till 11 p.m. On Sunday, June 5, it will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The location of the festival is 312 NE Freeman Ave. in Topeka.
Haberkorn also said that if anyone would like to help out by volunteering there are plenty of ways that people can participate. If you’re interested in helping out, call the church at 785-234-3338 or send an email to email@example.com.
For more information on the Germanfest, check out its Facebook page here.