Festivals and Events
New Ulm has been known as a “City of Festivals.”
No matter the time of year, you’ll find a reason to link arms with your neighbor and celebrate.
This traditional festival is modeled after one of the world’s largest celebration, held each year for several centuries in Munich, Germany. New Ulm’s version takes place during the first two weekends in October. Friday night activities take place at the New Ulm Holiday Inn. On Saturday there are 2 locations for you to enjoy the merriment. Join us in downtown New Ulm for German food and music, horse-drawn trolley rides and dancing. The festivities continue during the day and into the evening at the Holiday Inn, with a full schedule of “oom-pah!” including performances from New Ulm’s famous Concord Singers. Events downtown are free; tickets for events at the Holiday Inn are available at the door. Please check out for more information: www.newulmoktoberfest.com
Fasching/Schell’s Bock Fest:
Held the Saturday prior to Ash Wednesday, Fasching and Schell’s Bock Fest give everyone something to look forward to amid a long, cold winter.
Fasching is an old carnival tradition that originated in the European Alps to chase away winter. Each year, strips of cloth are strung across downtown streets in the German peasant tradition, and the “Narren,” masked characters in colorful costumes, walk the streets inviting people to the party. Held at Turner Hall, Fasching includes music, food and dancing, and costumes are encouraged.
Schell’s Bock Fest takes place outdoors on the grounds of Schell’s brewery. Enjoy an award-winning beer or root beer beside a big bonfire and a few thousand friends. The highlight of the day is the Bock Medallion Hunt, when participants use clues to find the “bocks” (a gruff and stubborn goat of winter), to win cash and merchandise prizes.
July brings Bavarian Blast to the Brown County Fairgrounds for a weekend-long celebration of our German heritage and culture. In addition to music and food under the festival tent, visitors will enjoy an arts and crafts festival, Kinderblast for the kids and a 10K or 2-mile Fun Run and the Grande Parade, held on Sunday. www.bavarianblast.com
Christmas in New Ulm:
The holidays are a magical time to visit New Ulm. The fun begins with the “Shopping Opener,” a kickoff to the shopping season held the first two weekends in November in conjunction with the Minnesota deer hunting season.
The Friday evening after Thanksgiving, New Ulm welcomes Santa to town with a Parade of Lights.
Christkindlmarkt is the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, 10 AM – 5 PM, at the New Ulm Event Center. Throughout December, downtown New Ulm is adorned with natural evergreen boughs, trees and lights – a tradition since 1925.
If you are not deer hunting in November, the place to be is the Annual Shopping Opener in New Ulm! “No license” is needed for this destination event.
Shopping divas make it a tradition to kick off the shopping season here in New Ulm. Eat, stay and play on either of the two weekends. The New Ulm Specialty Shops have joined together for open houses, tasty treats, events and giveaways.
Check out the Women’s Expo – over 90 vendors with demonstrations, crafts, wellness, home businesses and more. This first-weekend event is sponsored by the Early Childhood Family Education Program and grows every year.
The Crafters Holiday Boutiques will host open houses throughout the city on the first weekend of the Shopping Opener.
Don’t miss all of the creative energy that this town has to offer! Grab your gear, polish up your charge card and plan a visit to New Ulm for Shopping Opener.
Location: Downtown and all around town.
Date/Times: 1st and 2nd full weekends in November
This free festival, in Riverside park along the Minnesota River, is two days of music catering to many tastes and features blues, rock, Cajun, folk and old-time. Food and drink are plentiful and there is camping available. Bike rides and foot races also happen. Saturday afternoon has seen a few different fun-filled competitions on the water that bring howls of approval!
For a laid-back couple of days (around Labor Day) focused on fun and music, and to appreciate the value and beauty of the river, Riverblast is hard to beat!
The vineyard plays host to a series of festivals throughout the year, starting each spring with Maifest and the Bacchus Festival. In October, get your feet grape-stained during the Cambria Crush annual grape stomp. Jazz nights, the annual winemaker’s dinner and a Christmas Candlelight Wine Tasting round out the year. www.morgancreekvineyards.com
Brown County Free Fair:
Each August the fair includes a carnival, a variety of free entertainment, livestock shows, the demolition derby and a truck and tractor pull. Admission to the fairgrounds is free; tickets are required for some events. www.browncountyfreefair.com.