German Fest Milwaukee Checklist

German Fest Milwaukee Checklist

German Fest Milwaukee is a weekend that many people look forward to all year! This is a 3 day long festival that attracts thousands of people from all over the globe. Are you ready? After years of attending the fest myself, here is my German Fest Milwaukee Checklist!

German Fest Milwaukee Checklist

◊   I’ve checked the forecast and have packed appropriately. Pack a sunscreen with a higher SPF because a blouse burn is like a farmers-tan hopped up on schnapps! Nobody likes that sweetheart neckline for the rest of the summer! On the flip side… the open air Summer Fest grounds have plenty of tents, but if you want to grab some food, or another beer you may need to venture out from under the shelter, so don’t forget an umbrella.

◊   I’ve committed to staying hydrated. Having a water in between beers is key to keeping hydrated during the usually super hot fest. There are drinking fountains (or bubblers as the Wisconsinites call it) outside each of the bathrooms throughout the fest where you can re-fill any of your cups with some fresh Wasser!

German Fest Milwaukee Checklist

◊   I’ve checked the schedule and know which stages my favorite bands are playing on. My favorite is Chickeria, but they don’t come every year! Click here to see the full list of bands to see if your favorite is playing at German Fest.

German Fest Milwaukee Checklist

◊   I have my dirndl (or lederhosen) ready! I have a dirndl for each day ready to go because German Fest is one of the summer festivals where you will not feel out of place in your dirndl. However, the $40 beer wench costume you got at Halloween Headquarters… not appropriate. Save that for another day (like never).

◊   I have a spare pair of shoes. Those strange foot massagers only go so far. I highly recommend bringing along a second pair of shoes because when you have a huge throbbing blister, nothing feels better!

German Fest Milwaukee Checklist

◊   I am ready to get my polka on! Don’t just loiter around the dance floor… get out there!! If you don’t know how, there are plenty of dance groups performing all day long on the stages, so you can watch and learn. Plus, how are you going to become a pro if you don’t practice?

German Fest Milwaukee Checklist

◊   I’m mentally prepared to try new foods! Yes, the corn is good… but try some Spanferkel, Knoedel, Kasseler Rippchen, or Goulash. Those are just some of my favorites that this festival has to offer, but click here to see the entire list of foods.

◊   I’m aware that excessive amounts of German beer, wine and schnapps may result in a little hangover… but I have Advil at the ready. Sometimes we get a case of the “hanging Sundays”, but that’s nothing a good ol’ kartofflepuffer (potato pancake), 2 Advil and some water can’t fix!

German Fest Milwaukee Checklist

◊   I know that Rare Dirndl has their pop-up boutique at the south east corner of the Marktplatz. Not only do we have 3 collections that have never graced the grounds of German Fest, but we also have new jewelry, accessories and team members! So come say “Hi” to Sam & Olivia and check out all our new stuff!

◊   I have checked off everything on the German Fest Checklist and I’m ready BABY!!!!

Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now! 
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People and Things We Love: SCHNITZels n’ GIGGLES

Today’s People and Things We Love feature is the Graf family and their awesome food truck SCHNITZels & GIGGLES! schnitzels & giggles3 Schnitzel on a StickI first met the Graf family at German Fest Milwaukee in 2014 and they are simply the most friendly family and they have delicious food to boot! They travel around the country selling their homemade food like Potato Pancakes, Sausages, French Fries and of course, their staple… the Schnitzel on a Stick! All sh**ts and giggles aside, their food is the real deal. One of the most delicious schnitzels I have ever eaten came from their food truck. Here is a little bit more about the family and their yummy business!

Robert and Alexandra Graf’s new adventure started in 2010 while they still owned the Award winning German Restaurant ALPHORN BISTRO at the Inn at Danbury, which they lost due to the recession in 2011. You may have seen them in the Graf-Medici episode of ABC’s reality show “Wife Swap” which still airs from time to time on Lifetime TV. schnitzels & gigglesThe Vision for a Mobile German Food Concession sprang from the imagination of Chef Robert Graf when he took his family to a fair in 2009 in New Hampshire. He and his wife Alexandra launched SCHNITZels & GIGGLES as a way to help publicize the Inn at Danbury and bring in a few extra guests. Serving our fresh, homemade German Street Food in the concession trailer is similar in concept to that of the former Alphorn Bistro. The food we serve in the mobile German Food concession trailer is fun and great for a fast snack. Our “Schnitzel on a Stick” is the featured item and Street Food you won’t see this unique anywhere else in the USA or in Germany or Austria! Other menu offerings consist of: Homemade Bratwurst, Knackwurst, Potato Pancakes, Pommes Frites, Sauerkraut, Braised Red Cabbage, and at times a special menu item such as Jäger Schnitzel or a Sauerbraten Sandwich will be offered at a venue. As you can see by the schedule they offer their Award Winning German Street Food from the East to the West Coast and many places in between at Air Shows, Fairs, Festivals, Art Shows, Bike Weeks, and Balloon Festivals. They are most wanted at Oktoberfest celebrations all over the USA. Their awards include: Blue Ribbon for Best Fair Food at their first fair, The Cheshire Fair, NH in 2010. Best German Fair Food from the editors of NH Magazine 2011. Red Ribbon for Best Looking Concessionaire at the Bolton Fair, MA in 2011. Red Ribbon for best food at the Barnstable County Fair, MA in 2011. Yellow ribbon for being best concessionaire at the 4county fair, CT in 2011. They have also had numerous write ups in magazines and newspapers on the East Coast.

We LOVE Bob, Alex, Meagan, and Daphne and can’t wait to see them again this year at German Fest Milwaukee. I also love that Meagan often wears her Weltmeister Dirndl while she works! schnitzels & giggles Check out their event schedule and be sure to find them at the upcoming festivals because their German style street food is too delicious to miss! Be sure to follow the Graf family adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now!

Our Best of German Fest 2014

This year at German Fest Milwaukee we met a ton of new people and had a wonderful time. The weather cooperated (for the most part) and everything went really smoothly from set up Thursday to the final tear down on Monday!

Three things stood out most! So here is our “Best of German Fest Milwaukee” 2014

#1- Schnitzel on a Stick!!

We met the Graf family who own the SCHNITZELs & GIGGLES food truck. They were parked right across from our booth and we had a great time with them. Not only was their food amazing (the Schnitzel was probably the best I’ve ever had and their fries were soooooooo good!!) but the family was too! Their energy was contagious and it made “going to work” at German Fest that much more fun! Check out their website by clicking here and be sure to like them on Facebook!

#2- CHIKERIA!

I had been in contact with Sonja from CHIKERIA for a few weeks prior to German Fest working on a custom design for her to wear on stage. Finally meeting her on the Friday of German Fest was so exciting, but what was more exciting was seeing my dirndls on stage! She wore her custom dirndl on Friday and Sunday nights and she wore the “Tell-Tale Heart” dirndl on Saturday night. I was totally geeking out and I felt so proud to have my work on the Harley Stage at German Fest. (probably not many designer’s idea of fame… but I’m pumped about it!)

#3- The Footsie Wootsie Foot Vibrators!

Working German Fest is tough on the ol’ feeties… we are on our feet from 8am-1am and so by Sunday, we are ready for a serious foot massage. Luckily German Fest has these strange foot massager things all over so we decided to give them a try. For 25 cents you get about a minute of ridiculously weird foot vibrating action and it worked! Our feet felt much better… for about 30 minutes and then they hurt again, but it was so fun! We made sure Meagan from SCHNITZELs & GIGGLES tried it too because the feeling is hard to describe and it’s just too funny!

And the top seller this weekend… you could probably guess… The Limited Edition “Weltmeister” Dirndl! We still have a few left, but the beautiful yellow dirndl was hands down the best seller of the weekend.

Well, that was one busy weekend down… are on to the next. We are setting up tonight for the Edelwiess 100 Jähriges Jubiläum this weekend! We will be a vendor along with a few others for this wonderful celebration of the oldest Schuhplattler Verein in the country!

Be sure to follow Rare Dirndl on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to see pictures from the weekend and keep up with all the fun goings on.

TTFN ta ta for now!

Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now! 

3 MORE German Fest Secrets Revealed!

German Fest Milwaukee starts tomorrow and I couldn’t be more excited! My mom and I are heading up there later today to start setting up and so I’ll be brief since I should go start packing the car soon!

I’ve been going to German Fest for a long time, however every year, I talk to some of my good friends from Milwaukee and I learn of MORE little secrets, events, and things to see at German Fest that I didn’t know about! This year I chatted with my friend Kevin who is not only a long-time German Fest goer, but also works as security all weekend (I wave as be flies by on his official golf cart) Anyway… he has 3 musts that you might not have known about.

#1- Sprecher’s German Fest Bier! – Kevin said it is a must try! “It’s a special brewed batch only available at German Fest!” How awesome is that?! Along with so many other German and local Milwaukee beers, they have a German Fest Beer… I will be trying this FO SHO!


#2- The Glockenspiel – Accodring to Kevin… “Don’t miss the Glockenspiel!” Every year they have a live Glockenspiel performance. Last year the Glockenspiel was performed at 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Friday; 2, 6 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2, 4 and 6 p.m. Sunday… I’m not sure of the times this year, but I’m sure there is an event schedule there that you can check out.

#3- CHIKERIA!! – When I asked Kevin if there was anything else that was a must see he said “CHIKERIA of course!” Every other year, Milwaukee welcomes CHIKERIA and this party band has performed for more than 25 years for communities, festivals, and celebrations all over Europe and North America. I’m so excited to listen to the them play original songs, classic fan favorites, upbeat Volksmusik and new cover songs that are sure to keep us dancing all night long in our booth!
AND… Sonja, one of the singers from CHIKERIA, will be performing in a Rare Dirndl!

Her custom Rare Dirndl is silver, black and hot pink and is sure to be a hit on stage! I can’t wait to see it outside of my studio and on stage!

Last year we asked another German Fest regular, Erika what her top 3 German Fest Must Sees were and if you didn’t get a chance to see her’s Click Here!

Also I have one to add… You should come visit me!!! The Rare Dirndl pop-up Boutique will be set up on the Southeast corner of the Marktplatz and we will have free give-away bags full of fun goodies, all the new Spring/Summer 2014 Dirndls and the Limited Edition “Weltmeister” Dirndl that is on Sale this weekend only for $199!

So quick recap… just come to German Fest and have a great time!!! See you there!

Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now! 

Our Best from German Fest

Last weekend the Rare Dirndl team and I had a great time at German Fest Milwaukee despite the unusually chilly weather. We had to cover up our dirndl with sweaters, but we enjoyed listening to the music, eating the wonderful food and talking to so many great people!

The top selling dirndl last weekend was the Wicked Garden Dirndl. This edgy, fashion forward dirndl caught the eye of so many people and the smiles on those who tried it on were priceless! One of our customers said “I know I have gym shoes on… but I don’t want to take it off!” And she didn’t… that’s one of the fabulous things about getting a dirndl at German Fest, you can try it on and walk out of the dressing room and onto the dance floor!

The top selling blouse for the weekend was the blouse that is paired with the Wicked Garden dirndl, the Sweetheart Blouse with Chain Sleeves. There are only a few left and they are going quick, so don’t forget to grab yours before they are gone! Since it’s all black it can easily be worn with many dirndl styles and the chains make it not only elegant, but edgy and modern as well.

We only make our blouses and dirndls in small batches which make them exclusive and if we sell out, for most styles, that’s it. For example, I have no more chain to make the Sweetheart Blouse with Chain Sleeves… so once the little bit of stock we have left is gone, it’s gone.

Thanks so much to everyone who came by our pop-up boutique last weekend and don’t forget, the new Nevermore collection will be released on August 19th! Monika and I were sporting some new pieces last Saturday!

Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now! 

The German Fest Milwaukee Survival Kit!

German Fest Milwaukee is a weekend that many people look forward to all year! The 4 day festival starts on Thursday July 25th at 5pm and lasts until Sunday the 28th at 10pm. This will be my 2nd year as a vendor, but I’ve been going to German Fest for 10+ years and I have learned a lot about the weekend. Here are 4 tips to help prep and survive the whole weekend!

#1) Don’t Forget Sunscreen (or the umbrella): Keep an eye on the weather and pack appropriately. Pack a sunscreen with a higher SPF because a blouse burn is like a farmers-tan hopped up on schnapps! Nobody likes that sweetheart neckline for the rest of the summer! My favorite is the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Spray. It’s so easy to re-apply and isn’t super oily on your skin.

On the flip side… the open air Summer Fest grounds have plenty of tents, but if you want to grab some food, or another beer you may need to venture out from under the shelter, so don’t forget an umbrella.

#2) Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!: Having a water in between beers is key to keeping hydrated during the usually super hot fest. There are drinking fountains (or bubblers as the Wisconsinites call it) outside each of the bathrooms throughout the fest were you can re-fill any of your cups with some fresh Wasser!

#3) Keep Cool by the Lake: The Summer Fest grounds are located along the shoreline of beautiful Lake Michigan and it’s the best place to cool down. There is always a wonderful fresh breeze off the lake and there are picnic tables along the edge where you can sit and relax.

#4) Comfortable Footwear!: Last but no least… a second pair of shoes in your survival kit may be cumbersome, but when you have a huge throbbing blister, nothing feels better! Since the fest is primarily outdoors walking barefoot is really not an option, so when your feet have had enough, sometimes a fresh pair of shoes is all it takes to feel like a million bucks!


#5) Bonus!!! Kill That Hangover!: Lots of people have their own hangover remedies, so I’ll share mine… 2 advil, plenty of water and some kartofflepuffer (potato pancakes). German Fest’s potato pancake houses have the BEST potato pancakes ever and nothing helps me get through a Sunday like those for breakfast!

During German Fest weekend, don’t forget to come visit the Rare Dirndl pop-up boutique on the south-east corner of the Marketplatz! See you soon!!!

Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now! 

German Fest Secrets Revealed!

German Fest Milwaukee is just around the corner and we’ve got 3 secrets about the weekend you may not know. Long time German Fest goer, southern Wisconsin resident, and fellow Erika, Erika Hutz told me about a few fun things that even I didn’t know about!

#1) Niche Schnapps’ Garden: NEW for this year, located just south of the Main Gate, the Schnapps’ Garden Bar will be serving the official German Fest spirits, as well as traditional German Spirit Specialties from some of Germany’s oldest and renowned distillers. There you can enjoy some shelter from the sun, while drinking and sampling some great schnapps.
#2) For the non-beer drinkers: There are a variety of Schlink Haus wines served at select bars. And for kids and those looking for something non-alcholic there is the award winning Sprecher Root Beer that is brewed locally in Milwaukee!
#3) 8th Annual Dachshund Derby: “Every year it gets bigger and bigger and lately, people have started training their dogs for the race,” says the coordinator of the races. It is such a fun event that is super family friendly and is a nice change of pace from the rest of the events. Also not to miss is the Wiener Dog Costume Contest. Maybe Rare Dirndl should enter into the contest… if only we had a wiener dog!
Got other tips and tricks for the weekend? Comment below so we can share with everyone on facebook and via e-mail!
Also, don’t forget to visit the Rare Dirndl pop-up boutique at the south corner of the Marketplatz!
Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now!