When I posted a status update in the hours before my “celebrity” brat tossing contest debut, many of my friends misunderstood the title thinking I would be tossing celebrity unruly children. Nope, I was the “celebrity” and I was tossing bratwurst to my partner, fellow reporter at the Courier & Press Nathan Blackford.
We were serious about the contest. I’m pretty serious about most things like that. I want to have a good time, but I want to win. As much as I don’t like to see people lose (ask my husband, it’s painful for me to watch sports because I hate that someone has to lose) I definitely like to win.
This is how it works: We both donned the properly branded Volksfest aprons. The contest was Thursday night, the first night of the annual German food, drink and music festival here in Evansville. The tosser (me) is blindfolded and the catcher (Nathan) goes 25 feet away. I had to toss the bratwurst backwards over my head. The stakes were high, two teams ahead of us had gotten 10 out of 10. (Don’t mind the three teams that couldn’t break 50 percent.)
Earlier that day Nathan and I, in an attempt to determine our roles, practiced in the parking lot of the paper with aprons I pulled from my kitchen and uncooked turkey hot dogs. Early on it was clear I would be the tosser. Those dogs were coming way too fast and hard at my head. Nathan was clearly better at “being the bun.” And I wasn’t a bad tosser either — long and high.
Being new in town, this was my first ever Volksfest.
Back to the event. Nerves and expectations were high. I didn’t want to let Nathan down. I’d seen several teams ahead of us fail miserably and the audience, waiting with baited breath, was expecting an exciting round.
The drum roll began and I tossed the first brat. Cheers. But I wasn’t doing it nearly high enough. They were straight and strong but low and short and difficult to catch. But I’d seen a previous competitor toss brat after brat into the low hanging lights.
The sweat started to pool around the blindfold, another drum roll, the second brat toss is followed by cheers.
I started to get a little more confident, but I’m hearing a little bit of a struggle behind me with each toss. There’s some scuffling and even a bang at one point. Fifth brat in is a drop. I’ve let my partner, my paper and my country down.
After that it was all downhill. We ended with a seven out of 10 record.
Jokes aside, it was a great time. I got to wear the cute little German hat I’d been lusting over all night and had a good time getting out in the community enjoying some of the things I write about. My hubby was there and got a few German beers and some brats out of it. It was nice.
Check out Volksfest running through Saturday; 11 a.m. to midnight. Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. is kids’ day so it is a kid friendly event for those hours. Enjoy a round or two of the Chicken Dance.