The opening ceremony of this year’s Strassenfest has been transformed into German Heritage Night with the addition of several events for the crowd to participate in.
Ten groups came together to provide the crowd with shows, games and dances all based on German traditions. While some of these events happen every Strassenfest year, a few are new additions this year.
During the opening ceremony, an 11-girl choir will perform two traditional German songs conducted by Mary Burke. Before performing, the Celebration Singers will perform a song in German as dignitaries are led to their seats and the Kinderchor takes the stage for their performance.
Children will also participate in a May Pole Ribbon dance during the opening.
A total of 42 local children and teens will perform at the ceremony this year, more than double from previous years.
After the opening ceremony, Jasper Rotary will present “Learn to Dance the Schuhplattler” to anyone who wants to learn the six steps of traditional Bavarian dancing. Participants receive a free cookie and water.
Next, Chocolate Bliss will host the Schokospiel, or chocolate game. Entrants will unwrap a cellophane-wrapped ball while wearing oven mitts to find wooden nickels that can be redeemed for special Strassenfest chocolate at Chocolate Bliss after the contest.
This will be followed by several German dance presentations as well as an original song performed by Courtney Heberer followed by a log sawing contest.