Video is from 2020, when Sauerkraut Fest was a casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic.
WAYNESVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) — More than 400,000 people made their way to Waynesville this weekend for the 53rd annual Ohio Sauerkraut Festival.
More than 400 booths lined Main Street in downtown Waynesville for the Sauerkraut Festival, on Oct. 14-15, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
The two-day event is one of the most popular festivals in Ohio.
The festival boasts dozens of craft vendors and live music all weekend, but the best part of the Sauerkraut Festival? The food.
You’ve heard of topping your bratwurst with sauerkraut, but what about your nachos or even some fudge?
“I do like sauerkraut. Yeah, and especially on our nachos,” Allen Cline, Waynesville Baseball Softball Association President, said.
The festival serves up over 11,000 pounds of Frank’s Kraut each year at the various food vendors along Main Street. From sauerkraut pizza and cabbage rolls, to German sundaes and Rueben sandwiches, there’s a variety of booths serving up sauerkraut in different forms.
And there’s more than just sauerkraut served up this weekend. Donuts, pork chop sandwiches, and all sorts of fried foods will also be featured.
Of the over 40 food vendors, all are non-profit and civic organizations from the community. For many, the festival is their biggest yearly fundraiser.
Kodiak Frazier and Jacob Federle are two volunteers from Boy Scout Troop 51. Their booth sells bean soup.
“It’s great being able to interact with all the customers, being able to yell the chants,” Frazier said.
Money raised from the festival weekend will go towards the troop’s projects and activities.
“When they support us, we get to do a lot more activities. And when we do more activities, more people will come and join the troop,” Federle said.
Last year, the Waynesville Band Boosters raised around $30,000 dollars.
“The community really helps us make sure everyone can do their job on the field and at school and off the field, too,” Jerry Aunspaw, Waynesville Band Booster President, said.
The Baseball-Softball Association in Waynesville also hopes to see a lot of support for their program.
“To keep a nonprofit youth sports program is just critical. And we’ve had just great support,” Cline said.
The Ohio Sauerkraut Festival draws in around 400,000 to 500,000 people over the course of the weekend.
And it takes a lot of work behind the scenes to pull off an event this big.
“We start today planning for next year,” Kelly Miller, Executive Director Waynesville Area Chamber of Commerce. “We work around the year to just make sure that we have a full crowd.”
Find more information about the festival here.