What is Schmeckfest?


Schmeckfest means "festival of tasting" in German. In the beginning, it was all about the food (see History). But it has become much more than that. Schmeckfest is a celebration of the rich heritage of the Freeman community.

All activities take place on the Freeman Academy campus and include many experiences including great food to purchase, craft demonstrations, fine arts performances, buffet-style meal, historical presentations, and food preparation demonstrations. Then, each evening is culminated in a musical production put on by talented community members.

All events, except for the meal, musical production and activities at the museum are free and open to the public.

Festival of Tasting … tell me more …

If you can appreciate savory and sweet tastes from old-world traditions made lovingly by hands young and old there are many ways to indulge.

In addition to the meal you can pick up treats and staples from the Country Kitchen and The Schmeck Shop all through the afternoon in Sterling Hall.

Many, many people purchase our famous Schmeckfest Sausage in bulk and you can too!

Want to share your own baked goods or other delicacies with others, then you should know that donations are accepted at the county kitchen. We thank you in advance!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Are all activities indoors? Is it all under one roof?

A. All activities are indoors in multiple buildings on the beautiful Freeman Academy camps - Pioneer Hall, Sterling Hall, Frontier Hall, Maintenance Building, Heritage Hall Museum. All buildings are connected by sidewalks.

Q. Is booth space available for private vendors?

A. No. Space is limited and all proceeds are designated to benefit Freeman Academy.

Q. Is there a place to rest during the afternoon?

A. Yes. There are benches in several locations on the campus. There are tables and chairs in Sterling Hall where you may rest or enjoy an afternoon snack.

Spotlight Demonstrations

We have the pleasure to highlight master bakers and cooks while they give in-depth educational mini-classes on several Germans-from-Russia foods. These spotlight demonstrations will be located in Sterling Hall:

  • Poppyseed Rolls : Susan Schrag - 1:30
  • Amy Waltner : Pumpkin Rolls - 2:30
  • Priescha (Apple Tarts) : LaVonne Brockmueller - 3:30
  • Cheesepockets : Lacey Friesen - 4:30

Additional Activities

These activities will take place around the Freeman Academy Campus

  • Country Kitchen Market : 1 - 7pm (Sterling Hall)
  • Schmeck Snack Shoppe : 12 - 6:30pm (Sterling Hall)
  • New Year Cookies : 1 - 6pm (Maintenance Building)
  • Sausage-making demonstrations/sales : 1 - 6pm (Maintenance Building)

Heritage Hall Museum & Archives

Our local museum is full of artifacts, buildings, stories and insights. The museum is open 10 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Featuring:

  • Freeman Academy Music Showcase : 2pm
  • 120th Anniversary Storytelling Celebration (Saturday Only) : 3pm
  • "Three Groups, One Story" movie : 5pm
  • "Heritage Pickers" (10-minute talks on specific displays): 1 - 6pm
  • Craft Demonstrations
  • Historical Presentations