Photograph: Courtesy of the Hermann Chamber of Commerce
Initially cooked up in 1979 as a way to celebrate the seven sausage makers in the Hermann, Missouri area and to help usher in spring, Wurstfest has grown to attract thousands to the state in late March. This year, a dozen sausage makers from across the state will compete for best in show kudos, awarded based on an elaborate system of points awarded for taste, aroma, internal, and external appearance. Catch this annual sausage-making contest at the Herman Mill, where visitors can watch the judging on Saturday, March 23 (the winning wieners will be on display from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday). To wash down all that brat/blut/leberwurst, check out wine tastings Saturday and Sunday at Hermann’s Stone Hill Winery Pavilion. On Sunday, the festivities include the Wiener Dog Derby, a parade of dachshunds promenading through City Park just west of Mozart Street. The town’s historic attractions, including the Deutschheim State Historic Site and the Museum at the German School, will be open both days for tours. And throughout the weekend, there will be performances by local groups specializing in German folk music and dance.
GO Wurstfest in Hermann, Missouri. For maps and schedules, stop at the Hermann Welcome Center, 312 Market Street, 800-932-8687, visithermann.com
Where to Stay: The Inn at Hermannhof (237 E. 1st St., 573-486-5199, innathermannhof.com) has luxury cottages and suites, plus an on-site winery with tasting room; rates range from $248 to $368 per night. The Hermann Hill Vineyard Inn and Spa (711 Wein St., 573-486-4455, hermannhill.com) offers bluff-top cottages and suites overlooking the Missouri River, breakfast included; rates range from $239 to $422.
Where to Eat: The Hermann Wurst Haus (234 E. 1st St., 573-486-2266, hermannwursthaus.com) is known for its amply stocked deli, where sandwiches piled high with beef brisket, pulled pork, and, of course, a variety of wursts are available. The Concert Hall and Barrel Bar (206 E 1st St., 573-486-5065, concerthallandbarrel.com is located in a historic concert hall and features a sit-down restaurant and ample bar.