Strassenbash plans return to Diekroeger Park


File photo.
By: 
Adam Rollins
Staff Writer

The Strassenbash festival in Wright City is returning to its classic home in Diekroeger Park this year, with planning underway for a weekend of fun events in October.

Most Strassenbash activities are Oct. 3, including a fun run, pancake breakfast, parade through downtown Wright City, and festival vendors and family activities at the park. A live concert will finish Saturday evening, with other live music throughout the day.

“The people told us they did not like having Strassenbash at the Lions Club. ... We listened and brought it back over to Diekroeger Park,” said Kim Arbuthnot, president of the Wright City Area Chamber of Commerce.

She added that the third annual Strassenbash Car Show will be the evening prior, Oct. 2, outside Town and County Garage on East North First Street. It will essentially be a street party reminiscent of the earliest Strassenbash festivals, Arbuthnot commented.

Strassenbash this year is being planned in partnership with the Wright City Parks Department, which for several years had been running its own fall festival.

“Rather than doing separate events and competing for sponsors ... we decided to pool our efforts and moneys to make things as fun as possible,” Arbuthnot commented.

Liz Schubert with the Wright City Parks Department said their goal is to merge all the fun activities of both events, including many activities that appeal to families and children.

One of the new activities this year will be a game called ‘bubble soccer.’

“It’s those giant inflatable balls you can get into,” which fit over a person’s head with their legs coming out the bottom, Schubert said. “Then you play five-on-five soccer.”

Unlike a normal soccer match, bubble soccer also usually involves the players colliding and bouncing off each other.

Schubert said bounce houses, barrel train, balloon art will all entertain kids, while the live music, beer garden and other park games will appeal to adults.

Of course, the looming shadow over any event planning this year is whether COVID-19 will affect the festival. Schubert said festival vendors haven’t been as quick to commit as in years past.

“It’s been harder getting vendors lined up because we’re still a couple months out, and people are unsure if we will have (Strassenbash) because of COVID going on,” Schubert said. “But we’re pushing through as if we’re going to have it.”

She said health precautions being planned for the festival include vendors being spaced further apart, and hand sanitizer provided at every activity booth. Additional restroom facilities will also be provided compared to past years.

Arbuthnot added that organizers are hoping that by October, society has settled into a ‘new normal’ that will allow them to safely host the festival.

Another aspect of festival planning that’s going well is the Strassenbash Ambassador Contest, the successor to the festival’s queen competition. There are 14 youths competing for prize this year, including the first male participant.

“It’s a scholarship competition, so we wanted boys to be able to participate,” Arbuthnot explained. “I’m very excited to see the level of participation that we have.”

The Ambassador Contest is managed by local community group Unite Wright City.

If any businesses or community groups are interested in participating in Strassenbash, craft booths and small business vendors are still being accepted. Call 636-745-2804 for more information.

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