BUCYRUS — The Bratwurst Festival kicked off at noon Thursday with an opening ceremony at the AEP stage on West Rensselear Street. The first day of the three-day festival culminated in the crowning of this year’s Bratwurst Festival queen.
Catherine “Cayte” Pojman is the 49th Festival Queen. Desiree Sharp is runner-up. Kayleigh Seiber is second runner-up
Sydney Rayborn was crowned Junior Princess. The first runner-up is Aubrie Kimmel, the second is Oakley Dyer.
Monica Sack and her infant daughter, Bexlee Rittenour, participated in the Pretty Baby contest.
“It was something fun for us to do,” said Sack. Bexlee was second place in her age group.
The backdrop on the main stage on West Rensselaer Street has always featured Brattie, the mascot of the festival. In the past, he was created by Bucyrus artist Barb Dolch, who passed away in February.
“Barb is being honored this year. She created the Brattie for the plate that hangs each year on the main stage,” said Chris Short of the Bratwurst Festival board.
David Horsley, also with the festival board, said all Dolch’s festival-related art work is on display in the arts and crafts area at Bucyrus City Hall.
Amanda Rossi, a 1997 Bucyrus High School graduate, can also be found in the arts and crafts area. She creates and sells wire-wrap jewelry and fairy houses.
“I live in Pittsburgh, but come back each year,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to spend time with my family.”
Kay Rodgers’ food stand is in front of True Value, about a block from the main festival area.
“My friend, Rosie (Campbell) allowed me to set up here,” said Rogers, who is selling hot dogs, chips, soda, bottled water and of course, bratwurst.”
Rodgers purchased the stand to earn money to help her son, Adam Carman, seriously injured in a motorcycle crash about a year ago.
Teenager Isaiah Rumer comes to the festival each year.
“I like everything about it,” he said. “The rides are pretty fun and I like to play the games. But mostly, I like visiting with my friends and walking around to check out everything.”
The festival is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. through Saturday.
For more information about the festival, visit www.bucyrusbratwurstfestival.com.
Reach Gasuras on Twitter: @kimberlygasuras