Festival blasts off today

NEW ULM – Bavarian Blast starts today at the Brown County Fairgrounds with a full line-up of entertainment.

The festival features the Schell’s tent, the KNUJ?Polka Hall and a children’s building. Entertainment starts at 11 a.m. and continues until 1 a.m.

Bavarian Blast attracts townspeople as well as visitors from afar.

A Texas couple who drove their recreational vehicle more than 900 miles from Leonard, Texas to New Ulm to attend the 2014 Bavarian Blast, said they prefer the local venue to similar events in Texas on a larger scale.

“This has been our destination for the past six years,” said Bob Tassan after parking his RV at the east end of the Brown County Fairgrounds. “It’s a lot easier to get a beer or something to eat here, or just get under a tent. You have to wait a long time in line at larger festivals we’ve been to in Texas.”

In addition, Tassan said it was about 100 degrees and very dry where he lives in Texas, that has experienced drought conditions for the past three years.

Tassan said he enjoys the German food, drink and entertainment in that order. He and his wife also enter their dog in the wiener dog races scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday.

Other recreational vehicles at the fairgrounds sported license plates from ‘Arizona, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

A local couple that met at New Ulm’s Heritagefest 30 years ago at the fairgrounds reminisced. Doug Hughes was a juggler with Tim Werner and the Oddballz juggling team when he pulled Maria Briggs out of the audience to participate in a juggling act. Hughes and Briggs got married a decade later, moved to the Seattle area, then moved back to New Ulm, to be near their families.

Thursday night, tribute bands Transit Authority (Chicago) and Arch Allies (Journey, Styx, and REO Speedwagon) performed in the Schell’s Tent as a Bavarian Blast fund-raiser.

An eight-piece band, Transit Authority, included a trombone, trumpet and saxophone in addition to two electric guitars inspired the crowd enough to bring a number of couples to dance on the dance floor.

For more information, visit bavarianblast.com/entertainment/

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at fbusch@nujournal.com).

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