Onion Fest returns in sister city celebration

The Mayor’s International Committee of Sheboygan will be hosting Esslingen Fest, a celebration in the spirit of “Zwiebelfest” – Onion Fest.

The event, sponsored by Johnsonville Foods will take place on Sunday, Oct. 1st from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 3 Sheeps Brewery Taproom, 1837 North Avenue, Sheboygan.

Zwiebelfest, or Onion Fest, is held yearly in Sheboygan’s sister city. The tradition of the fest dates back to the Middle Ages. According to legend, the devil requested an apple from a woman at Esslingen’s market. Instead of an apple, the cagey woman provided the devil with an onion. Once the devil tasted the “fake” apple, he screamed: “These are your apples! That’s ridiculous. This is an onion, a spicy onion. And that is why from now on you will be called ‘onions’ instead of Esslingens.: According to the story, shortly after the incident, the devil left Esslingen and never returned.

Johnsonville Foods and 3 Sheeps Brewing Company are sponsors of the second annual event which will feature craft beer, German food, onion specialties, music, raffles and fun.

This summer, People to People conducted a three-week middle school exchange. They also conduct a year-long high school exchange, first semester in Sheboygan and second semester in Esslingen. Students are paired and live with their partner’s family. For more information on the exchange program contact Ann Keckonen at 457-4318.

The Mayor’s International Committee members act as representatives at public events which host visitors from sister cities and other foreign visitors. Each year the committee hosts a dinner for the foreign exchange students.

Sheboygan celebrated 50 years of its sister city partnership with Esslingen am Neckar, Germany at an Anniversary Banquet held in Esslingen on May 19, 2017.

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