JASPER, Ind. (WEHT) — The German celebration in Jasper known as Strassenfest has returned.

Traffic is continually blocked on 4th Street for performers, rides, games and non-profit food vendors.

“”It’s been going on for 40 years. I’m proud to be involved in it,” Valerie Heim, who serves on the Strassenfest committee and the German heritage coordinator. “I have a strong German heritage, and being up to bring up our young people with that mentality is good so that they understand where they came from — and in a fun way. That’s what the Strassenfest is all about.”

On Friday evening, students from the Jasper High School performing arts program taught young patrons about two traditional German dances.

In addition to dancing, vendors representing non-profit organizations line the street — one of them returning is the Jasper Moose Lodge, which says it is collecting donations to support its local charities, including the Boy Scouts and American Red Cross.

“I enjoy it. I’ve been a member for 50 years, and I got my lifetime membership this year,” said Jasper Moose Lodge President Jim “Spyder” Brown. “It’s just makes you feel good to see the people — the Boy Scouts, everyone — we help around. Even in our local community.”

One event new for 2023 is a young adult brat-eating contents. The organizers say they are eager to welcome locals and visitors to town between their new and returning events.

“All the events down here — whether it’s on the Glockenspiel Stage, our main stage, the beer garden stage, any of the events going on town — they’re all free,” Heim said “So, this is a festival that you can really come to, participate, have fun, go to a free event and enjoy it.”