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From bad to wurst: Coronavirus concerns force Wurstfest to cancel

Kelsey Bradshaw
Throngs gather in the beer halls of Wurstfest, an annual celebration of German culture that takes place in New Braunfels.

Wurstfest, an annual celebration of German culture in Central Texas that had been set for this fall, has been canceled this year over coronavirus concerns, festival officials announced Thursday.

Wurstfest’s board of directors met on Tuesday to hear the latest information about the coronavirus pandemic and decided to cancel the festival, saying it would not be feasible to hold it.

“When we looked at how festival operations would have to change to prioritize safety, plus the related operational restrictions, we just didn’t feel we would be able to provide the Wurstfest experience we are known for,” said Wurstfest President Randy Rust in a statement.

This year’s celebration was going to be the 60th in the festival’s history and was scheduled for Nov. 6-15.

“This will be the first time Wurstfest has canceled a festival in our 60-year history,” Rust said.

Wurstfest brings hundreds of people from all over Texas to New Braunfels every year to dance, drink and eat.

Shortly after Wurstfest 2019, the site of the festival caught fire, destroying the Marktplatz, a food hall, and damaging the main hall, Wursthalle.

“We have had our challenges in the past, including flood events and most recently a fire that destroyed the Marktplatz building. We have always overcome our challenges while making the festival better each year. We made this decision knowing what a difficult year 2020 has been and that our guests were looking forward to Wurstfest more than ever,” Rust said.

A list of the nonprofit groups that usually raise money leading up to and during the festival has been added to the Wurstfest website and can be found at The festival will also announce fundraising efforts to help those organizations in the coming weeks, officials said.

The next Wurstfest will be held Nov. 5-14 in 2021, festival officials said.