JASPER, Ind. (WEHT) – German pride is alive and well around an entire city square. It is never more evident than the first weekend in August when black, red, and gold waves proudly over Jasper.
This weekend is the 41st annual Strassenfest.
“They’ve got their sauerkraut and schnitzels, and all kinds of sausage and pork,” said Heath Kluemper.
By 6 o’clock Thursday night, much of Dubois County will embrace a trip to a new place. Thousands return to their roots, which sprouted more than 4,500 miles away.
Most of Jasper and surrounding towns are built on ground settled by those with a taste for sausage and beer.
Janet Kluemper, a volunteer at the Dubois County Museum, thinks it is important to honor where she came from, and the collection of beer steins goes to show how serious Strassenfest is.
“It goes way back to the first, the beginnings,” she said.
The collection dates to the early 1980’s when Strassenfest began making memorabilia like steins, buttons, and programs.
“You can see as time evolved, lots of things change,” added Kluemper.
Jasper’s street festival has grown over the years, but some things always stay the same. Really, Strassenfest isn’t much of a new place at all.
“You don’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’re from,” said Kim Lottes, chairperson of the festival.
It is people in love with who they are and where they’re from, mixed with plenty of sausage and beer. Blending the past and present.
“Yes, we are a German community, but we are a community of many different nationalities, and I think we embrace that very well,” added Heath.
It’s just the German and Jasper way.
This story was originally published on August 1, 2019