NEW BREMEN — As summer begins to fade away and people look for a way to hold on to the fun a little longer, the annual Bremenfest offers this opportunity. Bremenfest, in its 42nd year, prides itself in its ability to offer different than the typical festival fare.
“Our timing this year is just amazing. We’re able to have it at a time when we don’t have a whole lot of competition. Bremenfest separates itself this year. The festivals and county fairs are wrapping up, and we go back to school that following week. It’s kind of a last hurrah before the kids have to get back into the books and get serious,” said Rob Ashman, president of the Bremenfest board.
Although the Queen and Little Miss pageants take place on Sunday, Aug. 14, starting at 1:30, the festival kicks off with a family movie night at 8:00p.m. in the Crown Pavilion. The movie being shown will be Zootopia.
On Friday, Aug. 19, the opening ceremony takes place at 6:30 p.m. and will pay tribute to Mary Alice Settlaige, late teacher in both New Knoxville and New Bremen schools. The rides, by Anderson Amusements of Greenville, open at 4 p.m.; the Fun Run and 5k take place at 7:30p.m.; and the Bremenfest Queen is crowned at 6:30 p.m.
“The Queen Pageant is always an exciting and big draw event. There are 10 girls participating in the pageant. This year’s Bremenfest Queen will receive a $1,000 scholarship and the first and second runner-ups will each receive a $700 and $500 scholarship, respectively. Additionally, the individuals with the highest scores in the talent and sponsor promotions will each be awarded $100,” said Queen Pageant chair Robin Brandt.
The musical talent for Friday is “Country-fried Rock and Roll” group, Phillip Fox Band at 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 20, incorporates the Chili Cook-Off with the wide variety of foods that are available each day. Cooking starts at 8 a.m.
“It dates back to at least 1987. It’s very popular amongst the town members. They start early. Registration is at 8 a.m., but there are generally people set up and cooking by 6 a.m. everything has to be prepared on site, they can’t bring it prepared. It has to be the proper temperature-we have thermometers for that-then it can be served to the public,” said Joel Niekamp, one of the committee members in charge of the cook-off.
Also offered will be the ninth annual Muscle and Classic Car and Motorcycle show at 10 a.m., Mud Volleyball at 10a.m., a fishing derby at 10:30 a.m., a cornhole tournament at 3 p.m., and a bike tour. The community art exhibit, Stepping Stones, will enter its second phase by inviting people to make a stepping stone to be placed in Komminsk Park as a temporary art display. All materials will be provided free of charge, but those interested must register on the Enrichment, Etc.! Facebook page.
The musical talent Saturday is diverse and includes the Student Band Showcase, regional band Brother Believe Me at 8:30 p.m., and a tribute to Jeff King at 3 p.m.
“He has, for many years led a student showcase for youth that are interested in music and band. He’s been a vital part of that for many years, and unfortunately, he passed away this year. So, we’re doing a tribute to him, and the family’s going to have a picture of him up there. Phillip Fry, another vital part of our community, is going to head that up this year,” said Ashman.
The festival concludes on Sunday, Aug. 21, with barbecue chicken dinners by Paul’s BBQ at 11 a.m., dodgeball at 2 p.m., Big Wheel races at 4 p.m., a neon sign auction to benefit the New Bremen Fire Department at 5 p.m., and the parade which honors past and present military veterans as the grand marshals begins at 1 p.m.
Music on the final day will be provided by Higgins-Madewell at 2 p.m. Described on their website as “Hippie Country that Rocks”, they play a variety of music. Their music ranges from Country to Blues to Soft Rock.
Sawmill, a local band, will play at 6 p.m.
“We want to thank folks that gave us corporate sponsorship donations this year. Thank you for your continued support of Bremenfest. Thank you to all our volunteers. All of our proceeds go back out, in multiple donations, to our parks, our police, our fire fighters, our Scouts, and other programs. We don’t sit on a lot of money at the end of the day. We make sure to get it back out,” said Ashman.
Televisions, donated by Fowler’s TV, will be tuned to the Olympics and positioned in locations at the festival. Schedules will also be posted so people know when a certain event will be televised.
The festival takes place at the park behind the Crown Pavilion, and more information and forms can be found at www.bremenfest.com.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.