Beers, Brats and the Chicken Dance
– all that and more at the 49th annual Odessa Deutschesfest. Eins, zwei, g’suffa!Travel & Leisure Food & Drink
In its 49th year, the Odessa community is hosting Deutschesfest, a festival tribute to the small town’s German heritage. With German music drifting down the streets of this small farming town, the delicious scent of homemade German staples fills the air, drawing in folks from all over for a taste of Germany.
Along the main streets of Odessa, the very heart and soul of Deutschesfest can be found among the Festplatz, a less than traditional “food court”. With a variety of delicacies served from colorful chalets, a visitor will find kuchen, cabbage rolls, kraut ranza, and apple strudel among so many other treats, all prepared by local community groups. While all of these are must-try eats, one wouldn’t be able to leave town without a bit of kartoffeln ‘n kloess and locally made German sausage.
Food is not the only attraction for the weekend, although no one will leave hungry. There are many attractions throughout the weekend for the whole family to enjoy, ranging from trike races for the kids, to the Biergarten for the adults and the annual Fun Run for all ages.
Snag a seat at the Friday night football game where the high school team competes in the Sausage Bowl, or grab a spot along the main streets for the community parade held Saturday morning. With craft fairs and vendors, there is always something new to discover.
If music is your liking, the Outdoor Stage at Festplatz has continuous talent, including a traditional German band of surrounding community locals, the Oom Pas and Mas. If you miss them on the Outdoor Stage, you’ll be able to catch them any night inside the Biergarten, along with the chance to catch one of the coveted chickens during the highly anticipated Chicken Dance!
Deutschesfest is put on by descendants of the German Russians who settled in Odessa at the beginning of the 20th Century. A strong appreciation of good food, drink, music and dancing have been handed down through generations to give this festival a touch of care you’ll only find from those with true hometown pride. Deutschesfest will be held Friday through Sunday, September 19th-22nd with activities from breakfast through dinner. This gives you the perfect reason to get the family together, break out your lederhosen and dirndls and load up the motorhome or trailer to bring everyone out for a weekend of fun.