Art & Culture
Tomball German Heritage Festival Celebrates Tomball’s History & Culture
TOMBALL, TX – The Tomball German Heritage Festival is three days of fun for the whole family held twice a year, once in Spring as the Tomball German Heritage Festival, and again in mid-December as the German Christmas Market & Festival. The festival features live music on four different stages, vendors, authentic German food, and traditional folk dancing.
View more photos of the event on Hello Woodlands’ Facebook Page.
Four city blocks celebrate the well-established German heritage in Tomball with a carnival, kids zone and a Beer Garden. The celebration includes over 160 unique and interesting street vendors selling German Heritage items, arts and crafts, and much more. Strolling musicians, street performers, and street vendors line Market Street along with strategically placed beer gardens offering many types of imported German biers.
The “Weihnachtshaus” is inside the Community Center, at 221 Market Street, which is filled with German clothes, a fudge shop, and souvenirs for sale.
You do not have to be German to enjoy this festival. From its small beginnings including only one Oompah band on a flat-bed trailer sixteen years ago, the festival has become an annual tradition in Tomball and one of the best festivals in Texas. Every year, on the very last weekend in March, festival-goers break out their lederhosen and dirndls to “Go German” for the area’s largest festival celebrating the heritage of the original German families that settled this area beginning in 1840.
Year after year, these fan favorites continue to please attendees:
- Schnitzels & Giggles, owned by Robert and Alexandra Graf, has a huge following that is readily apparent by their long lines. When looking for the most authentic Schnitzel at the German Festival, look no further than this bright yellow truck staffed by folks in traditional German outfits. This year, foreign exchange students were helping.
- Granny Dee’s Pierogi, another longtime festival favorite, is owned and operated by Denise D. Snyder from Waxahachie, TX.
- Chef/owner Eric D. Morse and his family bring you the true “German-Texan Experience” on a food truck with The Sauer Kraut Food Truck.
- At Helga’s Strudel, you will find delicious, fresh, and authentic German strudel and pretzels. Helga’s European pastries are baked in a traditional European style following practices, styles, and flavors that have been passed down from old family recipes.
- Styria Bakery travels the farthest distance to be a vendor, making the 16 hour trip twice a year from Denver, Colorado.
- Local favorite Pretztex Pretzels is owned by Johnny and Anca Lancu. PretzTex pretzels are made with five simple ingredients: water, flour, salt, butter and a rising agent, but offer a complex flavor.
The Tomball German Festival has many other food vendors serving everything from bratwursts, German style sausages, steak on a stick, gyros, kettle popcorn, loaded fries, Kartoffelpuffers (potato pancakes), fresh squeezed lemonades, and of course, Texas beers like Ziegenbock and Warsteiner beers from Germany. Festival staples are also available, such as funnel cakes, corn dogs, twister fries, fudge, fried twinkies, and popcorn. All sorts of dipped in chocolate on a stick fare are available, including marshmallows, cheesecake, strawberries, bananas, ice cream bars, and even mini donuts.
There’s also the the brick and mortar restaurants and bars that are part of the festival, with storefronts on the main closed off street of the German Festival, which include Every-Bellies, The Empty Glass, Skeeters Dogs Desserts, Fire Ant Brewing Company, Market Street Cafe and Craving Kernels – Gourmet Popcorn & Treats. These businesses add more “flavor” to this foodie’s paradise of a festival.
To learn about more upcoming events in Tomball, such as the Rails & Tails Mudbug Festival, Tomball Bluegrass Festival and more, visit www.hellowoodlands.com/city-of-tomball-releases-2022-calendar-of-festivals-and-events. For a list of upcoming area-wide festivals and fairs, visit www.hellowoodlands.com/upcoming-festivals-fairs-community-events-in-the-woodlands-area.
Nick Rama is a food writer, contributor at Hello Woodlands, and shares his restaurant experiences on Nick’s Local Eats at NicksLocalEats.com and the TX BBQ, Burgers and Brew Facebook page. Nick enjoys helping the small business owner, supporting his community with fundraising for food banks, and plans tasting events with locally owned mom and pop restaurants.