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Celebrate Ogden’s sister city at HOF Germanfest in January

By Deann Armes - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Dec 30, 2021

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Utah's premiere winter family-friendly tradition celebrates Ogden's sister city partnership with Hof, Germany, since 1956. Tickets are available at ogdenpet.com/events.

It’s that time of year when Ogden goes from sleigh bells to schnitzel; the Snedden HOF Germanfest is returning in January to a new location, the Ogden Eccles Conference Center, for the annual celebration of Ogden’s sister city: Hof, Germany.

The two-day festival draws people from all over the state for authentic German food and music. In 2022, the new venue will house all the same fun, food and music.

“We are looking forward to having this event and continuing the celebration of the sister city relationship between Hof and Ogden,” new host OECC said.

The annual German-themed winter festival in Ogden dates back to 1976 when city councilman Scott Snedden reactivated the Sister City Program, starting a new winter festival called the Hof Winter Carnival to honor Ogden’s sister city partnership with Hof that was created as part of President Dwight Eisenhower’s People to People program in 1956.

The purpose of the program was to bring citizens, not governments, together from countries around the globe in hopes of fostering understanding and peace. HOF Germanfest organizers wrote in a 2012 event flyer that under Eisenhower’s program, Ogden residents provided a home stay for a selected delegation of German citizens out of which a friendship grew between the visiting August Brand and Ogden’s Bank of Utah President Frank Browning. This new friendship between these two citizens of Hof and Ogden resulted in one of the first sister city partnerships in the country.

Today, Hof and Ogden have the oldest and most successful sister city partnership to emerge from the People to People program, according to OECC, which stated in a release that “HOF Germanfest is considered Utah’s Premier Winter Family Fun Event and continues to be the most outstanding family German themed festivals in Utah.”

“This great tradition lives on and continues to be a wonderful winter event in Weber County and Ogden,” OECC said.

German bands, including Salzburger Echo, Park City Polka Players and the Gruber Family Band from the western United States will perform this year on a professional stage along with German-style dances by folk dancers.

Attendees will enjoy some of the best, most authentic German food you can find in Utah such as wiener schnitzel, bratwurst and knockwurst. German-style beer on draft will also be available.

In addition, “great authentic craft booths by local and out-of-state vendors decorate the festival and offer their wares,” OECC said. “People of all ages can dance to polkas, waltzes, and the ‘chicken dance’ late into the night.”

As always, this year’s HOF Germanfest is a family-friendly affair. Weber School District is bringing their German Clubs to the festival. And, OECC said, “kids will be able to experience German food, breads and authentic German pastries … not to mention they will be able to play the bells and alpenhorns and learn new dances like polkas and waltzes.”

Prize giveaways and games will be held between band sets on both days.

The 36th annual Sneddon HOF Germanfest will be held on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 21-22, at OECC, 2415 Washington Blvd. from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. both days. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for children ages 3-11 and $6 for students and seniors. A $25 family pass may be purchased for two adults and up to four students or children.

Free parking will be available in the parking garage behind the conference center on Kiesel Avenue.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit facebook.com/HOFgermanfest or ogdenpet.com/events.


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