After a devastating fire destroyed the Marketplatz building at Wurstfest in New Braunfels in 2019, taking with it the Rotary Club of New Braunfels' main source of income, their German potato pancake booth, the future of the Club’s fundraising abilities seemed uncertain. 

The Wurstfest Association immediately pledged to an aggressive one-year rebuild of the lost structure – to be ready for the festival’s opening in November 2020 – appeasing the concerns of the Club and the 20+ other non-profits whose booths provide much of the revenues that fund their operations. 

Demolition and construction began in earnest, and by Spring the Phoenix began to rise from the ashes. But then, with a one-two punch, fate dealt another blow to the Club when Wurstfest 2020 was canceled due to COVID. Not all was lost however and the Club quickly shifted gears, putting together a weekend-long drive-thru potato pancake operation that met all required COVID protocols and allowed the Club to offset some of their losses.  

Fast forward one-year and the Rotary Club of New Braunfels was back at it, this time with a brand new and larger booth, and a renewed excitement to get back to what they do best – raise funds and serve their community.

The Club’s new booth, part of the rebuilt Marketplatz food, drink, and merchandise complex at Wurstfest, is twice the size as their previous space and boasts twice the equipment and serving capacity. With four huge griddles churning out their World Famous Kartoffelpuffer almost non-stop each day of the “10-Day Salute to Sausage,” the booth (a custom designed professional kitchen) has allowed for increased productivity, shorter wait times and lines, and increased sales. 

The Club’s 150+ membership collectively put in thousands of hours planning, supporting, and working each day of Wurstfest. Each member works four shifts over the course of ten days, but there is also a core team that gets things going during the Summer and continues to work even after the last pancakes have been served in November.

“We are very thankful for the opportunity to serve potato pancakes and sausage again this year to our community and visitors!”, stated Rotary Club of New Braunfels President Felicia James. “We are also very thankful for our members who worked so hard for two-years to rebuild our booth after the fire, and who put in over 2,000 volunteer hours to stock and staff our booth, and cooked and served well over 25,000 potato pancakes.”

The Wurstfest potato pancake booth is the club’s largest fundraiser, bringing in a pre-fire record of $130,000 in 2019. However, with their larger and more productive space, the Club this year shattered the 2019 sales record, raising a jaw dropping $200,000 and setting new sales records each day – solidifying their Kartoffelpuffer as the #1 favorite food item at the festival.

Immediately following the conclusion of Wurstfest 2021, the Club began planning for their 2022 Hill Country Craft Beef Festival to be held Saturday, April 23, 2022 at Rockin’ R in Gruene. See ya there!