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Grabbing a Redhook brew at Schnitzelfest. Courtesy photo.




Schnitzelfest New Hampshire

When: Saturday, Sept. 26, from noon to 5 p.m.
Where: Butler Park, 5 Central St., Hillsborough
Held rain or shine. Meal tickets cost $15. Beer tokens also available. See schnitzelfestnh.org 




All that schnitzel
Get your German food fix this weekend

09/24/15
By Allie Ginwala aginwala@hippopress.com



Grab your lederhosen and head to Hillsborough for a taste of Germany at the 13th annual Schnitzelfest on Saturday, Sept. 26, at Butler Park.

For over a decade, people have gathered together for an afternoon filled with schnitzel, bratwurst, knockwurst, German potato salad and sauerkraut.
    Jim Bailey, the self-titled “fry king,” has been involved with the festival since its inaugural year and spends his time cooking the schnitzel.
“It’s about 300 pounds of schnitzel, bratwurst and knockwurst ... and we get that locally now from the Sausage Source in town. He makes the brats and knocks himself,” he said in a phone interview. “And then there’s the German potato salad … Poundage-wise I don’t know about sauerkraut, but [there’s] a lot of sauerkraut.”
On the Thursday and Friday night before the festival, Bailey said about 20 people gather in the middle school to prepare the food. While Tooky Mills Restaurant & Pub portions and pounds the schnitzel, the group of volunteers breads and cooks it, along with making the sauerkraut and potato salad.
“We work for about four hours each night and get it ready to go,” Bailey said. 
Redhook Brewery is the beer sponsor for the event — because it “can’t be an Oktoberfest without beer,” Bailey said — and food can be purchased as a meal for $15, which includes the choice of fried schnitzel, grilled schnitzel, bratwurst or knockwurst, plus two sides and bread.
Now serving the hundreds of people that attend each year, Bailey admitted that at first he was a bit skeptical of how an Oktoberfest-type event would fare in the area. 
“I’m like, who wants to come to Hillsborough for Schnitzelfest?” he said. 
But as a member of the chamber of commerce, he decided to help out on the grill that first year.
“And I never left the grill from the time I started until 3 o’clock when we ran out of food,” he said. “Here I am … years later still frying things up.”
In fact, since the first Schnitzelfest Bailey has acquired a collection of eight free fryolators to use for the big day.
The festival began as a way to bring more exposure to downtown Hillsborough, inspired by the Greater Hillsborough Chamber of Commerce and German John’s Bakery.
“The chamber ran with it and it definitely achieved what we initially thought of bringing attention to the downtown businesses and brought more people than we realized over the years,” Bailey said.     “People come from far and wide. They come from Massachusetts, Rhode Island ... It just amazes me how [many] people come for this.”
Schnitzelfest chairman Terry Cutter agreed, noting that Schnitzelfest draws German cuisine-lovers from all over the country.
Throughout the day an Oompah band will provide a soundtrack for the autumn festival and local vendors will display their wares, available for guests to peruse. 
“It makes for a nice little time,” Cutter said in a phone interview. “It encompasses the whole park.” 





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