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Bavarian Blast moves to fairgrounds, opens Friday

July 14, 2008
By KURT NESBITT Journal Staff Writer

NEW ULM - Bavarian Blast will stay very close to its original format when it moves to its new home at the Brown County Fairgrounds this week.

Tom Furth, chair of the Bavarian Blast board of directors, said the festival was moved to the Brown County fairgrounds because its downtown location was labor-intensive. Volunteers needed to put woodchips down to cover the marks made by the coal pile and had to transport the bars and tables from the fairgrounds.

The Brown County Agricultural Society, which operates the county fairgrounds, made Bavarian Blast a reasonable offer.

Furth said Bavarian Blast wants to grow. He said other events in the area and gas prices could make that difficult, which is why Bavarian Blast's organizers have tried to keep prices down.

2008 will be an important year for Bavarian Blast.

"This is a very, very important year for us because this festival has far-reaching effects on New Ulm businesses, on the hotel industry. ... It also helps non-profits," Furth said.

The festival - now in its third year - will open at 11 a.m. on Friday, July 18 and continue through Sunday, July 20. Adult admission costs $8 per person and is $4 on Sunday. Children under the age of 16 can get in for free.

Furth said the move will give Bavarian Blast some traits of its predecessor, Heritagefest, because the music tents will be in similar places and food will be sold from the same areas.

But unlike Heritagefest, each tent will have its own distinctive entertainment, like the two previous Bavarian Blasts. The entertainment in each tent will stay straightforward, so each band will only play in one tent instead of several different tents. Bavarian Blast will boast no less than 26 different entertainment acts plus a Kinderblast area for children.

The Comcast Polka and Variety Stage will feature local polka artists like Donnie Klossner and Cletus Goblirsch, while the August Schell Bavarian Tent will host visiting European acts Herborn Seelbach and Starlights as well as the Concord Singers and Alpensterne.

The New Ulm Telecom Rock, Pop and Country Stage will host Dick Kimmel and Co., Minneapolis country act The Eagle River Band as well as Minnesota Music Hall Of Fame inductees The Rockin' Hollywoods and Mankato favorites Powerhouse.

Bavarian Blast's menu will stay the same. Nachos, pretzels, popcorn, pizza, tacos and the traditional German food will be available as in Bavarian Blasts past. Buddy's flavored sodas, 1919 Root Beer, Schell's beers and Morgan Creek wine will also be available to help wash down the food, whatever that might be.

Bavarian Blast will have a store at its fest site that includes local merchants the Country Loft and Doll House and the Guten Tag Haus as well as Schell's Brewery and Dennis Brown's extensive collection of classic old-time CDs and cassette tapes.

Onsite camping is available for Bavarian Blast, although there are no electrical or sewage hookups for vehicles.

The Bavarian Blast two-mile and 10K run will start at 8:30 a.m. at Anytime Fitness on Saturday, July 19.

The Bavarian Blast Grande Day Parade will be reminiscent of the Heritagefest parade because it will follow a similar route. Beginning at 12:30 Sunday afternoon, the parade will leave the fairgrounds' Franklin Street entrance and go up 12th North Street to State Street, where it will turn and head south to 6th North Street, where it will turn right and take Jefferson Street back to 12th North Street and then return to the fairgrounds.

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