Grove City Record

Aug. 2-4 event

St. James festival celebrates German culture


Authentic German food, music and culture, as well as a little bit of Americana, will be featured at the 30th annual St. James Lutheran Brats and Crafts Festival, scheduled Aug. 2-4 at St. James Lutheran Church, 5660 Trabue Road in Columbus.

“It’s the best authentic German food you’ll find and a fun family event,” said Steve Dodson, festival chairman.

Dodson said the festival, which was inspired by the nine German families who founded the church in 1847, gets bigger each year.

“I think the success and growth of the festival comes not only from the great experience, but because the money we make goes to charity,” he said.

The Hilliard Welfare Council, Lutheran Food Pantry and the Help House of Madison County are among the charities St. James supports with festival proceeds.

Several music acts are planned during the three-day event, and, weather permitting, a hot air balloon launch is scheduled for dusk Aug. 2.

Another attraction will be a vintage “base ball” game pitting the Ohio Village Muffins against the Lutheran Strikers at 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3.

The teams have played the previous three years.

The Lutheran Strikers are a softball team of St. James Lutheran Church members and the Muffins are a touring team that plays baseball using Civil War-era rules.

For instance, players do not wear leather gloves and wield a bat that resembles a canoe paddle.

The umpire will don a tuxedo and coattails and use a walking cane.

Swearing or spitting is not tolerated, according to a “gentlemen’s” set of playing rules.

A featured entertainer will be Doris “the Danish Saw Player” Mudrock.

Mudrock, who performed at the festival for the first time last year, draws a violin bow across the smooth back of a saw blade and achieves a variety of sounds by manipulating and bending the blade.

A new feature this year will be a 25-foot replica of the USS Columbus, a Los Angeles-class nuclear submarine currently on active duty for the U.S. Navy.

Navy veteran and St. James Lutheran Church member Bill Anderson arranged for its display to promote Operation Barnabas, a program of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod that provides care and support for active military clergy and their families.

The festival will conclude with a worship service in German at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, in the church sanctuary.

Festival hours are from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Aug. 2; noon to 9 p.m. Aug. 3; and noon to 4 p.m. Aug. 4.

Parking is free.