Yellow will be the official color downtown this weekend. If you haven’t gotten the notice, it’s time to catch up.
The second annual MustardFest will expand to two days with the action centered around Mother Stewart’s Brewing Co. and National Road Commons Park, where cooking contests, wiener dog races and family activities will be among the attractions.
MustardFest, with free admission, is presented by Visit Greater Springfield, Woeber’s Mustard Company and Mother Stewart’s.
Last year was just a taste of what mustard can do beyond topping your burgers and hot dogs. Christopher Woeber, director of operations at Woeber’s Mustard — a Springfield institution for more than 100 years — said people may be surprised.
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“We were testing the waters, and it turned out really well and we’re excited for this year,” he said. “We have a lot of entities involved and hope more people will enjoy it.”
Its products are available in 25 countries, yet Woeber still finds people in this area have no idea the product is based in Springfield. MustardFest is as good as any advertising.
Things will literally get cooking at 6:30 p.m. Friday with the Mustard Recipe Cook-off. This is one of the areas of surprise with last year’s winning entry a mustard ice cream, proving a lot can be done with the versatile condiment.
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Woeber reminds his company offers 14 varieties of mustard, including spicy, sweet cranberry, honey mustard and Dijon among them.
“We have a lot of specialty flavors that can be used in so many different things. A lot of people were surprised by this last year,” he said.
Registration will begin at 5 with judging at 6:30 and entry is free.
The fun will pick up at noon on Saturday. One of the decisions was to expand beyond just grounds of Mother Stewart’s to National Road Commons Park, just across the street where kids’ activities will begin. Adults will be able to enjoy a variety of beverages while there courtesy of DORA cup availability.
Food trucks will also be around at the time, and MustardFest exhibits will open at 1 at Mother’s. Woeber’s will release a new product there, Mrs. Mustard, a companion to the popular Mr. Mustard, a hot mustard that has been offered for 70 years.
Mrs. Mustard will boast a spicy honey mustard flavor, and attendees can sample it.
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One of the highlights of last year was the wiener dog races, which will move to National Road Commons to take advantage of the larger space. Several dogs and their owners will use creative methods to navigate the course, often with humorous results.
Awards for the races will be given later in the afternoon, and the spirit of Oktoberfest will get rolling with live music from a German band back at Mother’s from 4-9 p.m.
Woeber is looking forward to people discovering MustardFest and looks forward to this becoming a Springfield fall staple.
“We’ll look at what’s the best fit, whether it’s multiple venues or just one,” he said. “Springfield has some nice, close venues. There’s a lot of possibilities.”
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