Residents of the Missouri River town of Hermann welcome spring each year with the German Maifest celebration, this year set for the weekend of May 21-22. Traditionally, Maifest is a celebration of spring and hope for a bountiful harvest.
These days, the weekend will be packed with maypole dancing, a king and queen contest, a children’s parade, carnival rides, old-fashioned German-style kids games, a mini-tractor pull, tours of historic Hermann sites, a wiener dog derby, puppet shows and blacksmithing demonstrations.
Of special note, wurstjaeger dancers will twirl their sausage-laden sticks and strolling accordionists will serenade visitors. Talented crafters will sell their creations at the Schiller Street Volksplatz craft market. Docents at the German School Museum will explain the German roots of the town.
Oh yes, we understand there is a beer garden or two where you can unwind. The Hermann area wineries will, of course, be open with their own list of activities.
Where to Stay
Accommodations will fill up quickly for Maifest. Here are some bed-and-breakfast inn choices.
Inn at Hermannhof
Luxurious rooms in the central inn downtown or various cottages dotted in the hillsides operated by a leading Hermann winery. From $250/night.
237 E. 1st St., innathermannhof.com
Two charming bluff-top homes offer commanding views of the area.
From $135/night.215 W. 2nd St.
Stone Haus B&B
Spacious rooms located in a stone 19th-century home on nine quiet acres within the city limits. From $170/night.
107 Bayer Rd.
Wine Valley Inn
The restored Begemann Building now holds several three-room suites, centrally located to everything. From $156/night.
403 Market St., wine-valley-inn.com
Where to Dine
Known for four-course meals with interesting variations on classic fare.
179 E. Hwy. 100, 573-486-8228
Black Walnut Bistro
A small restaurant offering Italian cuisine and noted for its crab-cake hushpuppies as well as impeccable service.
222 E. 1st St., 573-486-3298
Concert Hall and Barrel Bar
It’s a bar, so it’s quite casual. Good basic fare such as bratwursts and other German dishes.
206 E. 1st St., 573-486-5065
The Vintage Restaurant
Stone Hill Winery’s signature restaurant is a Hermann mainstay. It’s a taste of Germany.
1110 Stone Hill Hwy., 573-486-3479