I will forever be in love with my city, St. Paul, and during this past year, my appreciation for this city has grown immensely. My kiddos and I have been exploring museums, parks and other places we have never visited before. I have been able to show my children the places in our city that are special to me. My husband and I have been adding more personal touches to our home and yard. And I have been able to slowly build a stronger connection with my community and some of the wonderful people and organizations who are working hard to make our city a better place. Attending the HAMMS Event, becoming a Smart Play Ambassador for the Minnesota Children’s Museum, and riding on the Green Line for the first time have been some of my favorite experiences so far. Our city is full of people with dreams, and these dreamers are doing some amazing things to bring us all closer together. Our city will never be perfect, but my goodness, it is amazing to see what can be accomplished and created when we work together, support each other and focus on growth. And I am not simply talking about economic growth, I am talking about becoming stronger, happier and healthier as a whole.
Yes, I love my city. It’s dirty and pretty and scary and inviting. And while growing up in the West 7th Street Neighborhood, it was also smelly. I remember sitting in class with my fellow grade school classmates and complaining to each other about the awful odor coming from the Schmidt Brewery that was just a few blocks away. Although I could hardly wait for school to be done each day so I could go home where the odor was less potent, I can hardly wait now to finally visit the historic Schmidt Brewery this weekend for GermanFest. Have you heard of GermanFest yet? Are you just as excited as I am?
The West 7th Street/Fort Road Federation and FILO Productions are the masters behind this event. I am certainly excited for the cold beer, hot food, good music and Germanic cultural experience this event is offering, but I am especially looking forward to seeing how this area of West 7th has been transformed and brought back to life. The Schmidt Brewery holds a special place in the hearts of many West Enders. It is a building many of us have driven past nearly every single day. We have despised the smell emitted from it. We have heard urban legends about sleepovers in the beer bottle on the billboard next to the brewery on the corner of West 7th and Jefferson. We had lost hope in the building’s value and potential. We anticipated the opening of the Schmidt Artist Lofts. And now we are excited to have this once-vacant piece of historical property being used to celebrate and bring our community closer together. Are you feeling me fellow West Enders? Check out this article from the Pioneer Press if you need more convincing.
The creators of GermanFest promise more than just beer, food and music to celebrate German heritage this weekend. Visitors of the inaugural event will have the opportunity to play Hammerschlagen or participate in a barrel race. Soccer fans will be able to watch a couple of the opening round matches of the World Cup. Folks who reserve a spot can listen to lectures on the Germans’ influence in Minnesota and St. Paul, take bus tours of the area, or go on walking tours of the historic Schmidt Brewery. One zone will be devoted entirely to family-friendly activities and entertainment. In addition to all of these activities, some amazing vendors will be on-site, including the lovely stylists from the salon that I work at. That’s right, TEASE Salon will be at GermanFest to braid your locks and raise money for Wigs for Kids. I’m so proud of the girls who will be there, so be sure to stop by their booth!
Here are a few other details to remember about the first annual GermanFest:
When: Saturday, June 21 from 10 AM to 10 PM
Sunday, June 22 from 10 AM to 7 PM
Where: Historic Schmidt Brewery
882 7th Street West
St. Paul, MN 55102
Cost: FREE Admission and FREE Parking
Bring money for beer, food and other fun activities.
Visit www.germanfestmn.org for more details about this local, family-friendly event.
What do you love about your hometown or where you are currently living? Have you found your home? How do you contribute to the growth of your community? Just one more question. Will I see you at GermanFest?