Witaj! (Hello!) from the Wendish Museum! As we slide headlong into the cooler fall weather, and with the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays just around the corner, I give thanks for each and every one of our members and supporters. The Texas Wendish Heritage Society and Museum would not exist without your interest and your support.
Our 29th annual Wendish Fest is now history. We were blessed with dry weather and a large crowd, including many first-time attendees. Figures indicate that we sold 1684 meal tickets and 1567 beer tickets. The coffeecake auction brought in $1690 for our scholarship fund.
New additions this year included basket weaving and rag rug weaving, and a visit from Rumpliche. The weaving demonstrators so enjoyed being part of the day that they plan to return next year. Ronald Schatte, dressed in a Rumpliche costume, appeared on stage to share the story of Rumpliche as well as a few tales of Rumpliche’s antics in the Serbin area from many years ago.
In the Kilian Building, Sandra Matthijetz demonstrated the art of decorating Wendish Easter eggs, and Vivian Dube tempted visitors with a large selection of her handmade sunbonnets that were offered for sale as a way to celebrate TWHS’ 45th anniversary. Vivian made a total of 32 sunbonnets of various patterns and prints over the course of this year, and we only have about six left in stock, so by all accounts her efforts were a great success.
In the St. Paul Building, Marjorie Albrecht and Lisa Teinert demonstrated the art of quilting, as they have done for many years. I’m unsure of just how many years these two ladies have provided our quilting demonstrations, but I do know that it’s faithful volunteers like Lisa and Marjorie that help us to be successful with Wendish Fest.
Other highlights of this year’s Wendish Fest include the excellent musical entertainment provided by the Tubameisters, the return of the Balcones Forge – Central Texas Blacksmiths who demonstrated iron forging and blacksmithing, the Ptaći kwas reenactment with some of the younger St. Paul Lutheran School students, the 12:30 pm church tour provided by Robert Hinze that almost filled the church, and a relatively trouble-free day. Eight of our 14 scholarship recipients were with us to help with the coffeecake auction or with various other tasks.
We also had the pleasure of a visit from Hélène Yèche, a Professor of German Studies at Universitéde Poitiers in France and currently a Visiting Scholar with the Institute of European Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Hélène’s interest in German studies and language led to her discovery of Serbin and the Texas Wendish Heritage Society, which in turn led to her visit to Serbin and to Wendish Fest so that she could learn more about the Texas Wends. Be sure to read her article in this issue.
We extend a most sincere thank you to our Wendish Fest sponsors, donors, exhibitors, volunteers, and the congregation of St. Paul Lutheran Church for helping make our 29th a fun, safe and successful event. We certainly could not have Wendish Fest every year without the help of each and every one of you.