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A Blast at the Oldenburg Freudenfest : Biggest Little German Festival in Indiana

Welcome back to the Cook Journey blog where we take you with us as we Experience Life!


On Saturday July 15th, we jumped into the SUV and hit the backroads to Oldenburg, IN.

We took a risk because the weather called for rain and storms most of the day. The decision to risk it turned out to be a great choice. The weather cooperated long enough for us to enjoy the Freudenfest Festival.

The Oldenburg Freudenfest is a festival that celebrates the German heritage of the town of Oldenburg, Indiana. It started in 1977 as a small local event with one simple goal: a family fun day. Since then, it has grown into a two-day spectacular that attracts tens of thousands of people from Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky. The festival is held every July on the third weekend of the month. Freudenfest is a German word that means “festival of joy” or "celebration". The festival is also known as the "Biggest Little German Festival in Indiana".

We're always impressed with the group dancers.


There are many events at the Oldenburg Freudenfest that are popular among the visitors, such as music, food, drinks, games and contests. One of the most unique and entertaining events is the Dachshund Dog Race. This event features dozens of adorable dachshunds running in a short track to compete for prizes and glory. The race is held on Saturday at 2:00 pm and attracts a large crowd of cheering fans. It is one of the greatest races in Indiana. After experiencing it, we can attest to it being one of the greatest races. There were 4 heats and a championship race. During one of the heats one dog decided that he would rather go back to where the kids were petting him, (spectators are not supposed to pet the dogs during the race) rather than cross the finish line. The final championship heat showed how competitive the dogs really are. They were going at each other all the way to the finish line. The top dogs are really fast! Great times were had by all. We laughed more than we could have imagined.

This was trying to capture the amount of people that gathered to watch dogs race.


Heat #1

Heat #2

Heat #3

Heat #4


This guy enjoyed getting the crowd pumped up.


Final Race.

And the winner is.....


We like to go to Oldenburg, IN outside of the festival. We like to visit in the Fall so we can stroll and take in the small town and all it has to offer. For those of you that come to Oldenburg, here are our favorite spots:

Creek Bottom Brewery: Their tag line is "Life is too short to drink boring beer!". This is an up and coming brewery to keep your eyes on. They focus on German brewing philosophy. Duh, right? They are in Oldenburg after all.

The Brau Haus: A German-American restaurant that serves fried chicken, schnitzel, sauerkraut balls and more. It has a cozy and rustic atmosphere and friendly service.

Wagner’s Village Inn: Another American restaurant that specializes in fried chicken, along with other dishes like ribs, burgers and salads. It has a large dining room and a bar area.

The Pearl Street Pub: A pub that offers a variety of drinks and food, such as pizza, sandwiches, wings and nachos. It has a casual and lively vibe and outdoor seating.

As we left the festival, we wanted to take a different way out, than we did getting there. The first road we needed to turn on was named Tony Rd. Of course, we instantly thought of my brother.


While it's great to share the fun times, we promised we'd also keep it real. That's how we'll end this blog. With all of the health-related issues with our parents we haven't been able to travel as much lately. We are now in the stage of life where our parents need us and they come first. To be able to break away this weekend was nice, a time to recharge the batteries. When we travel it gives us quality time to reflect on where we've been and where we are heading. We are finding out that simplicity is where life is at for us. We get so caught up in the complexities that we miss life. Heck, look how long it has been since we've posted a BLOG. Way too long!

While the concept of simplicity in life may be alluring, the truth is that achieving those seemingly straightforward things can be remarkably challenging. Getting into a flow of writing a blog, combating negative thoughts, and exercising self-control in terms of diet/exercise demand ongoing effort and can present substantial hurdles to overcome. It's crucial to recognize that what may appear simple to one person could be a complex challenge for another. Someone once said, and we now take it to heart, "Enjoy the little things for they turn out to be the big things". We can see the importance to value, invest in, and enjoy the seemingly unimportant things. Over time we've found the appreciation for the small, simple, reliable things we can count on in life. Even a simple daily routine that serves our mind, body, and ultimately our happiness is something we've learned to cherish.

The message of finding joy in the present rather than constantly pursuing the next extraordinary experience remains profoundly significant. Embracing the beauty of the here and now can bring a sense of fulfillment and contentment that surpasses the allure of constantly seeking something beyond our grasp. These simple backroad excursions to festivals provide that reminder to live simply and to live in the now.

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