Ohio Sauerkraut Festival
German sundaes are just the start of the sampling in Waynesville at this annual event.
For a celebration dedicated to fermented cabbage, Waynesville’s Ohio Sauerkraut Festival is anything but ordinary. Now in its 46th year, the annual October event, hosts more than 450 vendors, who line both sides of Main Street for more than five blocks, and a craft fair that draws artists from 25 states.
But that doesn’t mean the festival has forgotten its sour roots. Although some food stands at the festival dish out traditional versions of the Eastern European comfort food, a number of vendors serve up creative takes on the weekend’s star ingredient.
“One of them is the German sundae,” says Dawn Schroeder, executive director of the Waynesville Area Chamber of Commerce. “It is built like a typical ice cream sundae but with savory foods. You have mashed potatoes, and then you have sauerkraut and cheddar cheese, bacon bits, a dollop of sour cream and an olive instead of a cherry.”
If that’s not your style, other cabbage-tinged concoctions range from sauerkraut pizza to sweets such as brownies and doughnuts.
“They rinse, wash, and drain the sauerkraut, so it takes away that pungent vinegary taste,” explains Schroeder. “It takes on the consistency of coconut.”
No matter what form guests choose, the Ohio Sauerkraut Festival literally goes through tons of fermented cabbage during the two-day fair. It’s supplied by Ohio’s The Fremont Co., makers of SnowFloss Kraut.
“We buy 14,000 pounds of sauerkraut from them,” says Schroeder. “It comes on a big truck — on pallets.”
The Ohio Sauerkraut Festival takes place Oct. 10 and 11. 10 N. Main St., Waynesville, 45068, sauerkrautfestival.com.