Grills and homemade goods galore at Walla Walla Sausage Festival

Maggie Allen

Credit: Alden
Credit: Alden

Hungry for sausages, strawberry shortcakes and live entertainment?  You’re in luck because the annual Walla Walla Sausage Festival takes place on Friday, Oct. 2 and Saturday, Oct. 3.

Each year since 2002, the sausage fest has drawn locals and out-of-towners to DeSales High School to enjoy food, games and live music.

The Sausage Fest originated when a local couple, Rich and Lisa Jacobs, who now reside in South Bend, Indiana, desired to create an event like the Sausage Fest in the Tri-Cities. The couple saw the festival as a means to raise money for DeSales, a private Catholic school,   and have fun at the same time.

Ever since then, Whitman students, alumni, locals and others have stopped in to eat, buy T-shirts and interact with the community.

Sophomore Brett Konen is very excited to return to the festival, which she attended last year with several friends she made on a Scramble.

“It was a really fun way to get out of Whitman and mingle with townies, eat some good food, and watch live entertainment,” Konen said.

One new event at the festival this year is Bingo, which will occur on Saturday from 1 p.m.  to 5 p.m., and guests can even win money.

“We are bringing back a live band on Saturday night,” said Kristi Richard, the co-Sausage Fest chair. “Other than that, everything is staying the same: live entertainment throughout the day on Saturday, and on Friday night there is a home DeSales football game which will be bringing in a lot of extra people.”

In order to prepare for this weekend-long event, about 4,000 sausages and hot dogs are brought in. The crew also slices about 500 pounds of onions by hand. Organizers use four huge barbeques and a large propane tank for the sausages

“We start at 10:30 or 11,” Richard said. “And it usually takes until the evening.”

The festival emphasizes local contributions. The strawberries and the onions are localand there is a booth for homemade goods for which people in the community have donated knitted scarves and hats, homemade soaps and milk cartons that the Sunday school kids have made.

All the proceeds from the expected crowd of 5,000 will go towards updating the foyer and the hallway at Assumption Grade School.

Richard, who has been working on this festival since its beginnings, is very excited for everyone to come out.

“It’s a fun family event,” she said, “The weekend itself is tiring, but it’s well worth it. It’s great for the school and the community.”

“I would highly recommend it; it’s a unique festival in Walla Walla,” Konen said. “I’m super excited for those sausages.”