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Waynesville Sauerkraut Festival

By October 19, 2023No Comments

Every year the town of Waynesville, Ohio gathers at the city center for the annual Sauerkraut Festival. With over 350,000 visitors and almost 500 vendor and food booths, this event is a success year after year. Read our full interview with Harless Maynard from Waynesville Lodge and Nancy Williams from Miami Chapter OES to learn more about this impressive event.

Image of a sauerkraut pizza stand at the Waynesville Sauerkraut festival.
The Sauerkraut Pizza is a staple of the festival.

Introduce yourself and tell us about your connection to the festival? 

My name is Harless Maynard and I am a Member of Waynesville Masonic Lodge #163 and Miami Chapter #107 Order of the Eastern Star. The Masonic Lodge and the Eastern Chapter share the profits from this event. Our organizations work together to make the famous sauerkraut pizza, a staple of the annual event. This festival is our main fundraiser for the year. 

My name is Nancy Williams. I am a Member of Miami Chapter #107, Order of the Eastern Star. I’m involved with helping the festival and ensuring everything runs smoothly.

Image of a woman at the sauerkraut pizza stand at the Waynesville Sauerkraut festival.
350,000 visitors attend the festival each year

What is the history of the festival?

The festival was started in 1970, when the town’s local retail merchants were planning a sidewalk sale, it was suggested that a sauerkraut dinner be served as part of the event. With this decision, The sauerkraut festival was born. The Order of the Eastern Star served soup at the first festival. The soup later evolved into pizza!

We sell about 1400 pizza’s every year, they’re a hit. It’s a tomato-based pizza topped with cheese, sauerkraut, sausage, green peppers, and onion.

Tell us about the Sauerkraut festival. Where does it happen? Who hosts it these days?

The festival is held all along main street in Waynesville, by the local chamber of commerce with help from Waynesville Lodge and our Eastern Star Chapter. It’s a two day event that takes place every year on the second weekend of October. You can look up “Ohio sauerkraut festival” online and find loads of images and fun facts about the festival. Many non-profit groups in Waynesville make their money from this 2 day festival as well. These local non-profit groups are the only groups allowed to sell food at the festival.

Local organizations and groups like the Catholic Church, Boy Scouts, and local school sports teams come together to sell sausage sandwiches, donuts, and sundaes for the festival as well.

We hear there is a Sauerkraut Pizza Charity, please tell us more and who it benefits.

The festival gives scholarships to Waynesville high school seniors. These scholarships are made possible by donations from the festival sponsors including the Heart Fund, Regenerative Medicine, the local Food Bank, and the local school book drive, to name a few. We also fund a scholarship to Clinton-Massie High School, a local high school nearby. We give out two $1000 scholarships to support high school seniors in their college endeavors. 

Image of people making a sauerkraut pizza stand at the Waynesville Sauerkraut festival.
The festival is held in Waynesville, Ohio with help from the local Masonic Lodge & OES chapter.

What are some highlights from the festival? What can people look forward to?

The festival hosts over 450 vendor booths and more than 30 different food booths. Over 7 tons of sauerkraut is served and more than 350,000 visitors attend.

Image of women from OES making sauerkraut pizza’s at the Waynesville Sauerkraut festival.
Members and spouses of Miami Chapter OES and Waynesville Lodge help make pizzas each year!

What about this event made you want to be part of it? 

This event is our big fundraiser for the year, for both the Masonic Lodge and the Eastern Star Chapter. The Lodge and Chapter present scholarships to local highschool seniors. We donate to many charitable organizations. A lot of these are made possible because of our participation in the festival. We always have fun, it takes the whole community to host this event. It is a good time for the Masons to work side by side with the Eastern Stars.

Does your Lodge host an annual community like the Sauerkraut Festival? Tell us more at!