Large crowd enjoys festivities at annual Hof Germanfest

Jan 22 2012 - 8:47am

Images

ERIN HOOLEY/Standard-Examiner 
Above, Don and Lois Shrader enjoy a dance together at the Sneddon 26th annual Hof Germanfest at the Golden Spike Events Center in Ogden on Saturday.
ERIN HOOLEY/Standard-Examiner 
Geno Urry cooks sausages from Siegfried’s on Saturday at the Hof Germanfest at the Golden Spike Events Center in Ogden.
ERIN HOOLEY/Standard-Examiner 
German nesting dolls are for sale at the event.
ERIN HOOLEY/Standard-Examiner 
Above, Don and Lois Shrader enjoy a dance together at the Sneddon 26th annual Hof Germanfest at the Golden Spike Events Center in Ogden on Saturday.
ERIN HOOLEY/Standard-Examiner 
Geno Urry cooks sausages from Siegfried’s on Saturday at the Hof Germanfest at the Golden Spike Events Center in Ogden.
ERIN HOOLEY/Standard-Examiner 
German nesting dolls are for sale at the event.

OGDEN -- A sea of colorful umbrellas lined the sidewalk Saturday at the Golden Spike Events Center as an overflow crowd wound its way into the annual Hof Germanfest.

Despite the bad weather and confusion over another event that was canceled, crowds were up 30 percent Friday, organizers said.

"We had more than double the amount of students attend the festival yesterday," said Jim Harvey, Golden Spike Events Center general manager. "We had some phone calls from people making sure we were still holding the event, despite the cancellation of (Ogden) Winterfest, but we aren't part of that event. It just happened to fall on the same weekend."

Harvey said the festival will continue to be held every third weekend in January, no matter what else might be going on in the community.

"We have an indoor heated facility, so there's no reason for us to cancel," he said.

"We're really happy with all the folks who came out to support the event, and we have dozens of volunteers who help to make it happen."

Kathy Collins has volunteered at the festival for 13 years. The former Morgan High School soccer coach got involved after taking several of her students on tours in Germany.

"I have absolutely loved being involved with the festival," she said.

"We fly bands straight from Hof and try to keep it as authentic as possible. Many people come here year after year, and we always have a lot of new people attend as well."

Bonneville High School students Brilynn Benard and Katelyn Gustaveson volunteered at the festival to work off attendance hours. Both said they were happy they participated.

"It's really interesting. I never even knew this was here," Brilynn said. "It's a very cheerful atmosphere, and the band is really quite good."

Katelyn hadn't yet tried the food, which included bratwurst, potato salad and Wiener schnitzels, but said it smelled delicious.

"I would like to try it. So far, it's been fun to be here."

Many festival attendees wore traditional German dresses and Tyrolean hats, complete with a feather for decoration.

Several venders sold crafts and items from Germany.

When the traditional Chicken Dance song broke out, people -- sporting chicken hats and flapping their arms like wings -- flooded the dance floor.

"I would say this has been a very successful festival this year, and we expect more people to keep coming throughout the evening," Harvey said.

"We provide a great authentic German festival that is family friendly. There's great food, great entertainment and something for everyone to enjoy."

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