By Alejandro Dominguez Herald Writer
They wanted to make a stop at the 35th annual Everett Sausage Festival to taste the sauerkraut.
“It’s great. This is the best sauerkraut I have ever tried,” 69-year-old Dale Sleeman said. “And I was in Germany for over two years.”
“It’s really good. I love it,” said Elaine Sleeman while holding a take-home box. “I am taking the other half for supper.”
The festival continues today and Sunday with carnival games, vendors, live music and raffle prizes.
And of course, Bavarian dinners featuring the sausage and sauerkraut that has made the festival famous.
It is being held at the Immaculate Conception Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, located at the corner of Everett Avenue and Cedar Street.
The free event is open today until midnight and from noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday.
The event is one of two annual fundraisers with the aim to raise $100,000 to help pay for the Catholic school’s operational costs.
More than 700 people volunteer to work shifts to make the event a success. They make the festival possible, and include parish members, students and their parents, said Barb Stavig, the festival’s dining room chairwoman.
Some volunteers started when they were kids, and now they are bringing the next generation, she said.
She’s one example because it was her grandmother, Sophie Schmidt, who developed the secret sauerkraut recipe.
In 2010, there were 1,509 dinners served during the three-day event.
“We hope to exceed our last year,” Stavig said.
A team of six cooks started preparing food for the event Sunday. They spent up to eight hours a day cooking about 240 pounds of pork, onions, spices and other the secret ingredients.
For a second year, the lead cooks are Natalie Geyer, of Mukilteo, and Caitlin Rettinghouse, of Sedro-Woolley.
“It’s fun. We have a good time,” Geyer said. “It make us feel good about ourselves.”
Even though the dinning room and the sausage booth are among the busiest places in the festival, not everyone goes only for the food.
Nine-year-old Alice McIntyre likes eating sausage and corn, but it is the Sizzler, a carnival ride, she looks forward to the most.
“It’s fun. It’s not too scary and not too boring,” Alice said.
Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; email@example.com.