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Wurst Festival brings out the best

Just around the time each year that Mother Nature cooperates with lower temperatures, comes one of the more popular events in town filled with food, family, friends and fun.

The Boulder City Sunrise Rotary’s Wurst Festival, now in its 27th year, is set for Saturday, Sept. 30 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Bicentennial Park.

“Over the years it kind of worked its way into more of a German festival and went off an Oktoberfest concept,” said Doug Scheppmann, a longtime Rotarian and the event’s coordinator. “But our signature has always been the bratwurst.”

Money raised each year goes toward a variety of community endeavors with $30,000 budgeted for the annual Grad Night in which high school seniors can spend a fun, safe night following graduation with their classmates. Funds also are given to Judge Victor Miller’s Breaking the Cycle rehabilitation program.

One of the highlights of the day will again be the live auction, which is always a crowd favorite.

“People get those competitive juices going,” he said. “For example, last year we had an older but very nice Ford Ranger up for auction. I thought it was going to go for between $5,500 and $6,000. We had three bidders who just did not give up and the winning bid was driven up to $9,200. That’s the kind of spirit people get into. Plus, people want to give because they want to support our club and the activities we do throughout the community.”

Items in the live auction will include used vehicles, hotel/resort stays, tickets to sporting events, household items, bicycles and much more.

“We have some amazing things that have been donated this year,” Scheppmann said. “We very much appreciate everything we have each year. We have many of the same people who donate year in and year out.”

They’ve had a silent auction in the past but this year they are having just the live version as well as a $10 a ticket drawing to win an $11,000 ebike, which has been donated by the Boulder Dam Credit Union and All-Mountain Cyclery. The drawing will also include a $500 second-place winner and third will receive $250.

In addition to the food and auction, the day will feature a car show from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in which nearly 350 entries are expected. There will be a beer garden, DJ Mike Pacini will be on hand to serve as emcee and play music, antiques for sale, and live music from the Whiskey Fiddlers and Steven Raper.

As for the event and what it means to Scheppmann and others, he said. “It’s one of the best days of my life. I have so much fun that day just talking with members of the community or friends and neighbors I haven’t seen in a long time. We all work so well together that by the end of the evening it’s like a big celebration. To me, it’s not work. I get there before the sun comes up and stay until after the sun goes down and every minute is just pure joy for me and I know a lot of the other Rotarians feel the same way.”

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