Bockfest, Fasching enjoy another successful year

NEW ULM – The annual celebrations of Bockfest and Fasching enjoyed another successful year Saturday, drawing in thousands of people from around the state and even the country to New Ulm

Bockfest enjoyed thousands of revelers around the August Schell Brewery grounds. The slightly warmer weather allowed the visitors to fully enjoy food, music and gallons of beer outside in reasonable comfort. An exciting element of the massive party was the dozen and dozens of costume-wears parading around the grounds in everything from deer antler helmets to keg hats to a full body costume of the TV character Alf.

This year, visitors were able to track down all but one of the cardboard Bocks in the annual Bock Hunt. Last year, there was a first time occurrence of none of the Bock cutouts hidden in the woods around Schell’s being found.

The event was big for Schell’s Brewery. The massive influx of visitors boosted the local economy by packing motel and hotel rooms full of guest, drowning the town’s bars in patrons and giving the stores located near Schell’s entrance one of their busiest days of the year. There was even a small fleet of clever minded locals who turned their personal cars into impromptu taxi services that shuttled people leaving Schell’s around town, each being able to rake in as much as $500 in one day.

At the same time, New Ulm’s traditional “German Mardis Gras” celebration of Fasching took place at Turner Hall. The equally packed event featured polka music and beer throughout the day, with the special costume contest at the end.

Gerald Boyle as “Ein Stein” was the winner of the Fasching costume contest. Boyle won a free night at the Holiday Inn in New Ulm. Taking second place were Miss New Ulm Clarissa Waibel and her princesses Abigaill Mathews and Paige Olsen as Concord Singers. Placing third was Mike Lemmer as a “Nerdie News Guy.”

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