2015 Kraut Queen Marly Gould, a recent Case High School graduate, who will attend Carthage College in the fall to major in neuroscience

While the exact attendance numbers haven’t been tallied yet, many who attended Kraut Music Fest, a four-day music festival held at the Mount Pleasant-Caledonia Memorial Park from June 18 through June 21, had a good time.

Between the kraut eating, the queen and princess crowning, the music, and the midway — there were plenty of opportunities to have fun. Still, some attendees weren’t fans of the $5 parking fee while others thought that for the first year back — after being gone 12 years — the organizers did well.

In two minutes, Shaun Lukas, who won the men’s division in the kraut eating contest, wolfed down 1.81 pounds of sauerkraut. Melissa Kritizona topped the women’s division and ate 1.56 pounds while Adam Smith earned top honors in the teen division by eating 1.56 pounds of sauerkraut.

There was sauerkraut cake, Reuben sandwiches, brats and sauerkraut, and sauerkraut balls. But most off all there was music, blues, country, heavy metal, pop music — at the main stage and the Jagermeister stage.

Lt. Gary Larsen said that the event went well from a safety standpoint and only one arrest was made over the weekend where a man tried to take a golf cart and police had to wrestle him out of the cart to arrest him.

“The layout of the festival was done well,” Larsen said. “It made it easier to have specific areas to check and pay attention to. But overall people behaved themselves.”

Natalie Noonan Gautsch, co-owner of the Sugar Shack Sweet Shop, sold popcorn and ice cream at the festival.

“I thought it was a great attribute to the Racine County community,” Noonan Gautch said. “It was a great effort by Ray and all his employees.”

Here’s what some of our readers thought of the festival.

Stacy Pfeifer “I had a blast was there Fri, Sat and Sun. My favorite band was Skid Row but the Altar Boys had my attention as well. I am so glad it is back. I didn’t see many Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts and I always thought they were a big part of it.”

Beth Holbus “$5.00 to park is a bargain these days! SMH
We had a nice time on Thursday night. Food was good. Grand daughter loved the rides! Music was ok. Watched the fireworks display from my backyard. Awesome! Hope it returns next year!”

Kathy Gunderson “Thought they did a great job! My favorite was the band ( KOLTRANE ) they should have played longer. More vendors and seating would have been nice. Thanks to route 20. Great job”

Charlene Gabbey “I enjoyed the Southern Tradition band. I thought they could have had tables to sit at where the band’s were playing. Yes they could have had more good vendors. I think Good idea hope they have It again. Can always make improvements.”

Monika Kish “SKID row was ok but Bella Cain was the best! Had they played fri or sat crowd would have been a lot bigger! Seats were desperately needed and vip put you to far away away from the band so paying extra $10 was a waste. For disabled it’s hard having no seats. I must add I loved it though, getting out with friends and family all day and nite was wonderful! And the ideas were best intentions! Thank You for bringing it back and I pray it continues with improvements! I know attendance was down but they forgot about Father’s Day lol.”

Dawn Reynolds “I went 3 days! Bella Cain was awesome! Wish theywould have played longer!”

Holly Matranga Krien “Had a great time and hope they make some improvements. I think for the first year back, it was good. I’m reiterating the same issue of no seating. That will be a deciding factor for going back. Need a lot more vendors. Not much to see but 2 stages, but kudos to the bands that were brought in. Overall it was good.”

Heidi Ladwig Maerzke “Agree with all above. $5.00 to park is ridiculous. Almost pulled into employee parking as well. I’d rather pay to get into racine county fair as there is much more to do and see.”

Wendy VanSwol “It was nice to go to a festival in racine and not have to worry about your safety. It was a wonderful first attempt . Route 2o outhouse you keep helping racine’s economy and I’ll keep coming.”

Gloria Lee “Nice to see it back! I thought they had a lot of volunteers and the grounds were kept very clean. Having tables for people to sit and eat would have been nice and I was disappointed we couldn’t bring in a reusable water bottle. Not environmentally conscious. I though $5 for five tiny kraut balls was very steep. Natty Nation was fun. Too bad more people weren’t there. Cabbage Heads had a great menu and the food was delicious!”

 

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.

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