Rollingstone School students show off their artwork of food served at Treipenfest, with Rollingstone City Clerk Jamie Hengel.
Preparing sausages during the coldest days of the winter has been a part of life for many in Winona County for over 150 years. However, the celebration of this mid-winter job and the delicious, hearty food it produces has been going on in Rollingstone for as long! The Treipenfest, or “Träipefest,” as it is spelled in Lëtzebuergesch, honors all who work together to make and then enjoy the savory blood sausages called “treipen.”
The treipen-making tradition was brought to the Rollingstone community in the mid-1850s by the earliest-arriving Luxembourger immigrants. Historically, this beautiful town, which has today an increasingly diverse population, remains in its history and heritage one of the largest Luxembourger settlements in the United States. For generations this festival has been held in private homes on the farms and in town, as well as in various public venues where hundreds could be seated for a celebration that included not only the meal, but also musical presentations by the Speltz Orchestra of Oak Ridge, fiddle or violin solos by members of the Schuh family, speeches by special guests, dancing, and souvenir badges for those in attendance. Past venues have included the Rollingstone Hotel, Amusement Hall, Schuh and Biltgen family hotels, the Holy Trinity Catholic Church auditorium, local taverns, and restaurants.
The 2018 event, to be held on Sunday, January 28, from 12:30-4 p.m., will mark the 30th consecutive year that Ginny Rivers Lehnertz, owner of Ginny’s Supper Club (401 Rolling View Drive in Rollingstone), has hosted the fine meal. Her staff and a small group of volunteers gather for two days before the fest to help her start preparations. The treipen and farmer’s sausages are made at Ledebuhr’s Meats of Winona. Dave and Karen Ledebuhr have worked on this special order for more than four decades.
In addition to the meats (treipen/“träipen” seasoned with savory from local gardens, and farmer’s sausages), the meal will include hot German potato salad, buttered carrots, sauerkraut, applesauce, freshly baked bread and Ginny’s famous apple cake. To bake this dessert she follows a recipe handed down to her from her mother, Veronica Arnoldy Rivers, and her maternal grandmother, Mary Ternes Arnoldy.
This much-anticipated annual community event brings together local relatives, old friends and new acquaintances, including “foodies” from over 100 miles away! It honors and keeps alive the town’s Luxembourger history, heritage and traditions.
For more information and to purchase tickets, call Ginny at 507-689-2111. Take-out meals will be available.