Expectations high for rebirth of Kraut Music Fest despite loss of Los Lonely Boys

Henry and Emma Cruz have been anticipating the Kraut Music Fest in Racine County for weeks.

\"I had bought these tickets for her for Mother's Day,\" Henry said.

They were tickets to see Los Lonely Boys, but the brother's had to cancel after the unexpected passing of their mother.

\"I lost my mom too,\" said Emma. \"I know how that feels.\"

\"It's a death in the family. We understand,\" said Pat Ertl, festival goer. \"Rock 'n Roll is Rock 'n Roll, but when it's your mom passing away, you got to take care of business.\"

\"I don't know that it'll impact the attendance. I think people are very sympathetic because it's an unexpected thing,\" said organizer Ray Stibeck. \"I think people are going to come out anyway because they just want to be at the festival regardless.\"

The BoDeans from Waukesha make up more than 30 bands to breathe new life into a tradition. You can even go skydiving. Organizers expect 40,000 people will play, drink and of course, eat sauerkraut.

Vendor Karen Spranger said, \"I'm hoping we should go through like 20 gallons.\"

She said visitors can enjoy the food on brats, burgers, even in chocolate cake. Spranger bought her business, Cabbage Heads Tavern and Grill, 13 years ago.

\"That was the same year they decided to stop holding Kraut Fest,\" she said. \"So all this time we've been waiting for them to start up again.\"

It's a re-start organizers want to build for future generations and make sure visitors leave feeling, \"someone really cares to try to bring things back instead of everything leaving a community,\" said Stibeck.

No taxpayer dollars are funding Kraut Music Fest. It's all private money. The revenue will offset festival costs and help fund improvements at the Caledonia and Mt. Pleasant Memorial Park.

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