Nearly 50 years after its debut, the Bratwurst Festival is still drawing in crowds in downtown Bucyrus.
“This is one of the best we’ve had in years,” Festival Director Larry West said. “Crowds after crowds came in. We had about 150,000 this weekend.”
This is the 48th year for the festival, it originally started out as a different event named Col. Crawford Days.
“In 1967, it was both Col. Crawford Days/Bratfest,” West said. “In 1968 it became Brat Fest. It went from a one-day festival to three days with a parade, vendors, rides, entertainment. The goals of the festival are to be the better than the year before.
“Each year we try and improve what we’ve done or add to it. We’ve added a lot of stuff and we look to expand next year. Our goal is to be the most entertaining festival besides being the most eatingness festival. (we are called the eatingness festival) because we have so many vendors (90-100) for a small town. If your hungry for it, we have it.”
There is a lot of work to be done during the festival and after the event.
“Everybody (who is a part of the festival) does everything,” West said, “The area must be cleaned up as though no one had been there by 8 a.m. Sunday. If anyone wants to volunteer for the festival we will be happy to take anybody. We have different age groups. We have a young people who help out, (we are) trying to get them young to let them know what volunteering is.”
Officials said everyone involved with the festival seemed happy and are getting ready for next year.
“(The festival) was a success,” Queen’s Committee representative Sheila Nickum said. “Everyone seemed to have fun and vendors were busy. We are looking forward and getting ready to plan next year.”