Need to know
What: 14th annual Kidron Beet Festival
When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15
Where: 13497 Hackett Road, just outside of Kidron, at Sonnenberg Village
Cost: The festival is free but visitors can bring some cash for ice cream and food and to make a donation to Sonnenberg Village and the Kidron Community Historical Society.
In 2017, Ivan Weaver won in the largest Lutz beet contest with this monster root vegetable weighing in at over 27 pounds
The blacksmith shop will be open and providing demonstrations.
KIDRON Every year at this time, as the leaves on the beautiful and rare trees at Sonnenberg Village turn to glowing golden colors, the historical village hosts a unique festival.
And the heart of this newspaper reporter skips a beet because she has an excuse to write a pun-filled preview story for an upbeet event that takes place this year 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15 at 13497 Hackett Road just outside of Kidron.
The 14th annual festival is advertised as fun for all ages and celebrates a locally grown and beloved root vegetable with a beet contest, food, music and more. All the historic renovated buildings are open for tours and will have crafters, and the blacksmith will offer demonstrations in the Saurer Blacksmith Shop.
A couple of years ago, The Dalton Gazette & Kidron News took advantage of the festival continuing on through the health pandemic– albeet low-key – with the unsurprising headline ‘The beet goes on.” This writer – who is quick to turn red as a beet herself in many instances – unabashedly has used puns such as “unbeetable” in the past to describe the popular festival, which brings visitors from near and far. Puns planted throughout this article may be growing on readers but before this article is in the can this writer will remain rooted in her mission of digging for puns not used in previous articles.
Sonnenberg Village Project Manager Ray Leisy said one of the newest additions that is nearly completed in the village, the large Gerber/Nussbaum scribe rule barn, is ready for visitors to walk through. Throughout its 15 years, countless volunteers and descendants of original families and building owners have put in thousands of hours to move, rebuild and upkeep the buildings as well as beautify, landscape and work on the property. The village is under the umbrella of the Kidron Community Historical Society,
The idea for the Beet Festival was planted many years ago when Keith and Bev Schloneger discovered beet seed for the Swiss Lutz Beet. They bought seeds from Switzerland and shared them with friends and customers. Schloneger is returning to this year’s festival with homemade ice cream. Free Lutz beet seeds will be given out while they last and the Sonnenberg food wagon will be on site.
According to information provided by Leisy, 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. The German Lutz beets were used extensively in Germany and Switzerland to help them through the winters in Europe because they can get huge but stay soft.
The nutritious vegetable can be prepared in a variety of ways. Karen Geiser and Rita Shisler return as judges for the beet contest. Entries must be dropped off at 9 a.m. Oct. 15 at the Welcome Center (former Sonnenberg Church). Contest categories include largest Lutz beet, largest organic Lutz beet, most luscious Lutz beet, best heirloom beet, best beet appetizer/side, best beet salad, and best beet dessert.
Dear readers, don’t turnip your nose, we thank you for rooting on this article and its bushel of puns until the bitter end, as well as not throwing dirt on the writer’s name.
Visit kidronhistoricalsociety.org for more information about the historical society, Sonnenberg Village, and the annual festival that – well – can’t be beet.