From wiener dog racing to a recipe cook-off, MustardFest weekend is back

Tangy. Sweet. Spicy. Tart.

Whatever the flavor, visitors at this year’s MustardFest events are sure to find a favorite.

MustardFest, which started in 2018, features Springfield’s own Woeber’s Mustard Company products, pretzels, music and more. The festivities kick off Friday, Sept. 17, and continue Saturday, Sept. 18.

“MustardFest is all things mustard related,” says John Kelley, downtown events programmer for the Greater Springfield Partnership. “It helps kick of Oktoberfest season as we’re starting to get into fall. It’s a sign the times are changing with German music and Oktoberfest-themed activities.”

Kelly says the event is also a way for people to engage with local Woeber’s Mustard products and learn more about what all the Springfield-based company with international notoriety has to offer.

“Woeber’s is a worldwide product,” he says. “This is kind of celebration of them being based out of Springfield.”

The event had to be put on hold in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the event is back in its full form, minus only a few close-contact activities, such as face painting.

On Friday, the Woeber’s Mustard Recipe Cook-Off starts at 6 p.m. at Mother Stewart’s Brewing Company, 102 W. Columbia St. Three local chefs – Seasons Kitchen’s Chef Dough McGregor, All Seasons Catering’s Chef Troy Wheat, and Speakeasy Ramen’s Chef Clayton Horrighs – will provide samples of dishes they’re created featuring Woeber’s Mustard products. Samples will be available free to attendees until they run out.

At 7 p.m., recipes created by community members who entered the cook-off will be judged by the three chefs. The top three contestants will win gift baskets with Woeber’s products. Winners will also get $100 for first place and $50 each for second and third.

Winners will be announced at 8 p.m., followed by a performance by the American Landscape. Food trucks will also be set up at the brewery, and the event continues until 10 p.m.

On Saturday, MustardFest runs from noon until 4 p.m. at Mother Stewart’s and will feature Woeber’s Mustard tents with free hot dogs and samples of a wide variety of Woeber’s mustard products.

Smales Pretzels Brewery from Dayton will be debuting their food truck at the event, selling a variety of hard and soft handmade pretzels.

Other food trucks will include Griddles & Cheese, Diamond Dogs, and Ol' School Smoked BBQ.

The Champion City Weiner Dog races will happen at National Road Commons from noon to 2 p.m., with races starting at 1 p.m.

“It’s a blast watching the wiener dog race,” Kelly says. “Anyone who hasn’t witnessed it should definitely come check it out. It’s hilarious watching these little dogs take off through the grass.”

Sauerkraut German Band will perform at Mother Stewart’s from 2 to 7 p.m., and both MustardFest and Mother Stewart’s apparel will be on sale during the whole event. Kids can also stop by the build-your-own pretzel necklace station.

"All of MustardFest will be a very family-friendly event. It's the perfect spot to come down with the whole family," Kelly says. "I would encourage people who are thinking about coming down to MustardFest to walk around and enjoy the rest of Downtown. It's a great way to see all that Downtown Springfield has to offer."

Read more articles by Natalie Driscoll.

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