OGDEN — It’s time to break out the lederhosen and dirndls, and party like a chicken.
The 33rd annual Hof Germanfest returns to Ogden this weekend, bringing with it heaping helpings of German culture, food, music and more. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Golden Spike Event Center, 1000 N. 1200 West.
Katie Williams, event manager for the Golden Spike Event Center, says the yearly celebration is always a good time.
“Each year we bring in authentic German performers and have German music — and lots of chicken dancing,” Williams said.
The event will feature more than 20 vendors selling handmade goods, as well as plenty of authentic German food from Paradise Bakery and Nutcracker Sweets. The Hof Germanfest is a great place to fill up on bratwurst, wienerschnitzel, knackwurst, sausage, hot purple cabbage, and spaetzle.
“Or, you can come and get some cold potato salad — or warm potato salad,” Williams said. “Those Germans love their potato salad.”
And you can work off any calories ingested with dancing to a handful of German bands. Among the performers will be the Gruber Family Band, from California; local bands B&B Allstars (polka) and the Rough Drafts (instrumentals); and S-Bahn, based out of Canada.
“They do the traditional German music and Germanfest songs, but they also put a German spin on more contemporary numbers,” Williams said of S-Bahn.
For example, they’ll do “Sweet Caroline” with a German slant, or The Proclaimers’ song “500 Miles” (“805 Kilometers”?) on the accordion.
“They’ll bring their accordion and alpenhorn, and really interact with the audience,” Williams said. “And always — always — the chicken dance.”
Speaking of dancing, the Weber State University Institute Alumni Folk Dancers will present traditional German dances throughout the festival, and those in attendance will have the opportunity to learn how to yodel.
Williams said there’s also a “cool field-trip component” to this year’s festival, with students from Weber School District who are studying German coming in on Friday morning to experience the music and food of the country.
The event, which these days attracts about 2,500 people over the two days, was started 33 years ago as a Sister City celebration between the towns of Ogden and Hof, Germany. In the early years the celebration was held in downtown Ogden, but it has since moved out to the Weber County Fairgrounds.
“It’s always a fun time to see everybody dancing, and to see this segment of the population celebrate their culture.” Williams said. “People come dressed in authentic costume. It’s like you get to step into Germany for a day.”