CELEBRATE NATIONAL BRATWURST DAY WITH US on 8/16/16
Enjoy bratwurst specials, with our 13 imported German draft beers, dance polka and enjoy life at Jeanette’s Edelweiss on August 16th – starting at 5 PM! Reserve your table HERE.
How it all began…
Bratwursts originated in Germany and have been around since the 14th century. These sausages are generally made from pork, veal, or beef.
The idea of Bratwurst Day goes back as far as six decades B.C., when the Romans held annual festivals where sausages spiced with various herbs were fried over open fires.
Although different history books give it different paths, the wurst eventually found its way to the German city of Trier and shortly after, throughout the rest of Germany. Sometime in the mid-19th century, the little sausages immigrated to Sheboygan with the German settlers.
To celebrate the city’s 100th anniversary, Bratwurst Day was born on Thursday, August 13, 1953. The idea, conceived by A. Matt Werner, editor of The Sheboygan Press, was a means of publicizing Sheboygan’s claim to fame: the bratwurst. The event was sponsored by the Sheboygan Jaycees with the support of then Mayor Edward C. Schmidt and Governor Walter Kohler.
Schmidt’s proclamation, which designated the 13th as Bratwurst Day read, in part: Whereas, this community has achieved national fame and recognition for the exclusive manufacture of a special kind of roasting sausage, and Whereas, it is a known and established fact that the production and distribution of bratwurst has increased year by year to a point where it has become an industry of vital importance to this community – all citizens and visitors are to refrain from roasting bratwurst on their own grills and will attend and enjoy the “Bratwurst Festivities” to be held on the main street in the City of Sheboygan.
Activities of the first Bratwurst Days included the crowning of the bratwurst queen, brat eating contest, parade, square dancing, polka music and fireworks. A time capsule was also buried in Fountain Park. Various articles of Sheboygan historical interest were placed in the capsule, to be opened in 2053, 100 years from 1953. The turnout was beyond all expectations that the Jaycees decided to make Bratwurst Day an annual event.
The event continued to grow in popularity each year. As it grew to a celebration attended by as many as 100,000 people.
By 1984, the number of celebrants had risen to about 40,000, who consumed 3,458 pounds of brats and 5,580 gallons of beer.
In 1988, Brat Days started bringing national entertainment to the Sheboygan area. The 1st act that was the Turtles. In 1996, the festival started to have a national act on both Friday and Saturday, and in 2005, country national acts were added on Saturday afternoon.
History was made on August 6, 2005, when Sonya Thomas, the Black Widow, downed 35 of the famous brats in 10 minutes, obliterating the 2004 record of 19 brats.
Today, Brat Days still provides brat lovers from all over the country with a one-of-a-kind brat experience.