Sauerkraut Days pushes through heat to offer community a good time

Forreston American Legion member Martha Hughes serves sauerkraut to fellow member, Harrell Wiggins, on Aug. 6 during Forreston Sauerkraut Days' American Legion Sauerkraut lunch.

FORRESTON — Sunday’s weather soured some plans when heavy rains kept the Forreston Sauerkraut Days parade from taking place.

“If the rain was going to come, that was the perfect day to have it, because it was only the parade that got canceled,” Sauerkraut Days Committee Chairperson Jane Koeller said.

Things went “really well” despite the roughly 100-degree temperatures on Saturday and Sunday’s rain, she said. Several inches of rain fell Aug. 7, most of it between 7 and 11 a.m., according to the National Weather Service.

“We can’t ever out-plan Mother Nature,” Koeller said. “So dealing with the heat was just a thing we had to do. But, regardless of the heat, I think everything went well and attendance was good.”

Sauerkraut Days took place Friday to Sunday, Aug. 5-7, with most activities held in or around Memorial Park in Forreston.

Attendance was different than in past years, Koeller said. There were fewer crafters, but more people participated in the Kraut Days 5K Run/Walk and there were more teams signed up for the bags tournament, she said.

“Some were up, some were down,” Koeller said

New this year was an information tent, which “really was utilized,” she said. There also was ax throwing hosted by Rustic Ridge Axe Throwing, of Oregon, and an ice cream social, both on Friday.

“[The ice cream social] was really well-attended,” Koeller said. “We wanted to serve 100 people, and we served 99. That was a good thing. Who doesn’t love ice cream when it’s hot out?”

Koeller said committee members already have a few new things planned for the 2023 Sauerkraut Days, but wouldn’t reveal details.

“You’ll have to stay tuned,” she said cheerfully.

On the organizational end, things also went well, Koeller noted. New people signed up to join the committee, and volunteers enjoyed showing off the shirts they got for their service.

“We’re just glad we can do this for the community and are happy when we see them come out and support it also,” Koeller said.

Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner covers Ogle County for the Oregon Republican Reporter, Forreston Journal, Mt. Morris Times and Polo Tri-County Press. She has six-plus years of experience in journalism and has won numerous awards.