NEW ULM - Fasching festivities begin at 1 p.m. Friday when Herbie Hedge Hog, Gertie the Goose and other local characters plan to get New Ulm Mayor Bob Beussman out of his office.
Props for the events include a large, decorated volleyball net for the mayor in which to catch Herbie who forgot to return to his German Park home after last Saturday's Narren pajama party and is running loose in City Hall.
Here the plot thickens. It involves Beussman's wife Cheryl and Herbie, who must return to his Goosetown hiding place so spring can come.
The mayor, Narren and rest of the entourage will tour downtown throughout the afternoon.
On Saturday, The Concord Singers plus the Heiderscheidt and Wendinger bands will entertain at Turner Hall from noon to 11 p.m. A costume ball with prizes begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door.
For those who prefer to celebrate outdoor with thousands of fellow revelers, Bockfest takes place at the August Schell Brewery.
The fest offers music with the Bockfest Boys, dancing, food and drink. Because the Saturday afternoon forecast high temperature is 37 degrees, the weather should not be a problem.
For those who don't already have them, $10 admission tickets will be available Saturday at the gate at the end of South Washington Street. Identification is required for the 21-plus event set for 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Phone and internet orders are not available.
Schell's owner Ted Marti said Bockfest will be much like its 2012 event.
"We sold a few more advance tickets this year, which should help the gates run smoothly," Marti said. "We've got about 100 porta-potties coming in. That includes eight VIP porta-potties with their own keys, which we featured in our New Ulm promotion. People with access to those won't have to wait in line."
Bockfest food choices include brats, landjaegers, sauerkraut and pretzels. Beer choices are Schell's Bock, Light and Schmaltz' Alt.
As usual, Marti expects a huge crowd Saturday at the brewery.
"There will be lots of buses - some with people from all over the country and some foreign countries," Marti said. "We always seem to luck out with the weather. It sounds like we may do that again."
Bockfest Boys band member Scott Sparlin of New Ulm said the group will have a few surprises for festers.
"We've got some new songs and some (audience) participation events," Sparlin said. "I think it will be pleasing to everyone."
As in the past, it's always better to arrive at Bockfest early than late. Event capacity is 6,000 people.
(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org).