For the third year in a row, the annual Schmeckfest in Freeman has been canceled, with organizers saying the recent resurgence in COVID-19 cases in the state prompted them to again heavily modify the annual celebration of the Germans from Russia who settled the area in the 1800s.
The move came at a recent meeting of the Freeman Academy Auxiliary, the organizational body that coordinates the event.
Auxiliary President Kathy Kleinsasser says the decision that came down was to again cancel the planned presentation of “Matilda the Musical,” which had been planned for performances beginning in 2020. That Schmeckfest, along with the 2021 event, was canceled due to COVID-19. Organizers had again planned to move forward with the show this year, but concerns about the pandemic again forced their hand.
Freeman Mayor Mike Walter says losing the full-blown Schmeckfest for a third year in a row is disappointing. The event serves as one of the signature social events in the community, and it draws well over one thousand visitors to the community each year. Those visitors spend money not only at Schmeckfest, but at businesses in town, such as gas stations and grocery stores.