Sunday, October 15, 2000

Kraut is king in Waynesville

By Jenny Callison
Enquirer Contributor

        WAYNESVILLE — Everything's better with a touch of kraut on it, at least during Waynesville's popular Sauerkraut Festival.

        The hearty aroma of cabbage pervaded almost every corner of the festival, which occupies most of downtown Waynesville. Good weather brought out the crowds all day Saturday to the 31st annual festival.

        “They line up before 9 o'clock in the morning,” said Joyce Peters, who sprinkled sauerkraut on pizzas in the Miami Chapter Order of Eastern Star/Waynesville Masonic Lodge booth. Whole pizzas and pizza slices were going as fast as Roy Turton and his fellow Masons could lift them from the ovens.

        “It's two days of hard work,“ said Joan Gray as she added sausage to the pizzas. “We get together Thursday night and chop 50 pounds of onions and 2 1/2 cases of green peppers.”

        The line for cabbage rolls at the St. Augustine Church booth was half a block long, but the wait was worth it, said contented cabbage connoisseurs. Up Main Street, Joe Brown found many takers for German sundaes, the specialty of American Legion Post 615.

        “We sell 10,000 bowls in the two days,” Mr. Brown said. “The idea for German sundaes was dreamed up eight to 10 years ago by one of our postmen.“

        The dish, a layering of sauerkraut, cheese, sour cream, bacon bits and olive atop a potato, has proven a hit for the American Legion, which drafts several high school clubs to handle the festival demand. Proceeds are given to the clubs that participate, said Mr. Brown.

        Aromas of a different sort pervaded the booth of Everlastings by Agatha. Fresh and dried herbs, herb vinegars and other garden products kept owner Vicky Mar shand and her family members busy. Like many of the other 400-plus vendors at the festival, Ms. Marshand, an herb farmer from Tipp City, Ohio, loves the festival and comes back every year.

        Sauerkraut is a winning recipe for Waynesville's merchants as well. Festivalgoers browsed shops like Velvet Bear Antiques, where Rebecca Siciarz rang up sales on an antique National Cash Register.

        “This is the best festival,” she said. “You get the antiques, the crafts and the food.”

        Eloise Walschlager of Rich mond, Ind., played with her new puppy while her husband, Bob, explored.

        “We've been coming every year since we found out about it,” she said. “My husband loves sauerkraut. We read about it in a magazine, and I said, “Look, here's a whole festival devoted to it!”

        The Waynesville Sauerkraut Festival continues from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today. Many lots offer paid parking. A free shuttle service operates from the high school parking lot. Allow plenty of travel time. Information: 897-8855.


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