If you enjoyed the food and craft vendors and live music at the inaugural Spätsommer Fest in the fall, you won’t want to miss its spring counterpart.
Frühlingsfest is set for 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. May 14 and 15 in the B and O Railroad Parking Lot in downtown Seymour behind the building of both events’ organizer, Knights of Columbus Council 1252.
Admission is free, and the festival open to all ages.
The fall event featured 14 food and eight craft booths, and organizers say the spring edition will have similar numbers and some of the same tasty treats.
Repeat food vendors include Knights of Columbus, Mr. Beefy’s, Lazy J’s Kettle Corn, Sati Babi, Enter His Courts Pommes Frites, Dudleytown Conservation Club, Rolling Pig Pin Bakery and Bob and Kev’s BBQ.
“We certainly wanted to give them the opportunity to be a part of this first,” festival committee member Jessica Hancock said of lining up the food booths for Frühlingsfest.
She said Mr. Beefy’s also will have a second booth there, either selling pork or pizza, while Jalapeno’s Grill and Lot Hill Dairy Farm are new vendors.
“A nice variety of food,” Hancock said, noting she plans to have the list finalized by mid-April.
The Knights of Columbus will sell beer, wine, seltzer, bratwursts, sausages and possibly some other types of food and festival T-shirts. No outside alcoholic beverages will be permitted on the festival grounds.
The committee received approval from the Seymour Board of Public Works and Safety to close Indianapolis Avenue up to East Second Street for craft vendors to set up on the street.
The stage for live music will be set up on the east end of the parking lot. The only time there won’t be live music is from 2 to 5 p.m. May 15 because Seymour Main Street’s Soak Up the Suds Brewfest will feature musical acts onstage at nearby Crossroads Community Park.
“We’re hoping that people will go back and forth to both events,” Hancock said.
New to the spring festival are kids activities based on feedback from families who attended the fall event. Those will run from 5 to 9 p.m. May 14 and from noon to 8 p.m. May 15 inside the Knights of Columbus, 118 E. Second St.
“We’re going to have an area for kids to play some games, do some face painting, some sand art, just some various activities,” Hancock said.
Just like Spätsommer Fest, Frühlingsfest will be conducted with everyone’s health and safety in mind during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A plan will be submitted to the Jackson County Health Department for approval, and booth workers and festival volunteers will have to follow local and state guidelines. Also, the Jackson County Visitor Center has donated hand sanitizer for stations set up on the festival grounds.
“We’ll do everything that we need to do to make sure everyone’s safe,” Hancock said.
The inaugural Spätsommer Fest offered attendees a taste of the annual Seymour Oktoberfest, which was canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic. It also allowed local nonprofit organizations and other vendors an opportunity to earn money.
Committee member Dave Eggers said a few of the vendors sold out of food and had to close early on the second day, which is a good thing because it means they raised money in the process.
“We found out real quick as much as this was about money, it was about families and community, and it was about bringing people together and providing that arena for that to happen,” he said. “We had lots of families out, and we had people enjoying the activities of what we offered.”
The socialization was important because many people hadn’t been around others due to the pandemic.
“We saw families that hadn’t seen each other in months come out and sit outside and have a beer and a brat and a Sati Babi and let the kids run and do whatever,” Eggers said. “That aspect of it was very reassuring.”
Mark Nowling, grand knight of Council 1252, agreed.
“We actually had people in the community thanking us for doing it because everybody had been cooped up so long,” he said. “I think most people didn’t think we’d pull it off due to COVID, but we were diligent and kept our head strong ‘We’re going to make this happen if we can,’ and it worked.”
The initial intention was to follow up with a spring festival.
“It just wasn’t anything negative that came out of the fall event,” Eggers said. “We found some areas we need to tweak or maybe rearrange some things and adjust. We tweaked some areas, and I think it’s going to be an even better event. If we just accomplish what we did during the fall, that’s good.”
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What: Knights of Columbus Council 1252’s inaugural Frühlingsfest
When: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. May 14 and 15
Where: B and O Railroad Parking Lot in downtown Seymour behind the Knights of Columbus building off of East Second Street
Who: More than 20 food and craft vendors; open to all ages except beer garden is for 21 and older
Cost: Admission is free
Details: There also will be live music both days, and kids activities will go from 5 to 9 p.m. May 14 and from noon to 8 p.m. May 15 inside the Knights of Columbus
Information: Call 812-522-2989 or visit facebook.com/thekofcdude