Need to know:
What: 13th annual Kidron Beet Festival
When: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 16
Where: Sonnenberg Village, 13497 Hackett Road
Schedule: 9 a.m.: Welcome Center opens for entries
10 a.m.: Food and ice cream vendors open; all buildings open; music: Stout Suzuki Studio Players
11 a.m.: Entries close, judging begins
Noon: contest winners announced; music: Down und Kraut polka band
2 p.m.: buildings close, festival ends
PHOTO BY CHRISTINA McCUNE | DGKN
The blacksmith shop will be open for demonstrations Saturday at Sonnenberg Village.
Ivan Weaver brought in the biggest beet to the festival a few years ago weighing more than 27 pounds.
Pickled beets is just one way to prepare beets.
KIDRON How do you like your beets? Baked, boiled or grilled? Pureed, juiced or chilled?
How about beet ice cream? If you haven’t already, you’ll get a chance to try beet ice cream, as well as enjoy music, entertainment, tours of historic buildings and more Oct. 16 as the nutritious root vegetable is being celebrated again this year at Sonnenberg Village just outside of Kidron.
Bring your biggest, best beet to be judged as the 13th annual Kidron Beet Festival kicks off at 9 a.m. with judging at the Welcome Center along Hackett Road.
The festival has numerous categories this year: largest Lutz beet, largest organic Lutz beet, most luscious Lutz beet, best heirloom beet, best beet salad, best dessert and best side/appetizer.
How did the whole festival start, and what is a Lutz beet anyway?
According to information provided by Ray Leisy, project manager at Sonnenberg Village, this variety of beet can grow large and still have a great texture and taste. In fact, the root may even become tastier over time.
“What’s interesting is … the German Lutz beets which were used extensively in Germany and Switzerland from the beginning of time can get huge, as you know, but they stay soft and that’s what got a lot of people through the winters in Europe,” Leisy said.
Leisy said Keith Schloneger, who owns Schloneger’s Homemade Ice Cream with his wife, Bev, obtained some of his beloved German Lutz beet seeds. The Schlonegers purchased the ice cream business in 1997 from Til and Loren Neuenschwander who had been making ice cream since 1963 in Kidron, according to the business’ website at schlonegers.com. He began passing out seeds to local gardeners.
“What he wanted to do was start people growing beets again, particularly German Lutz beets,” Leisy said.