Sausage Fest: The Wurst Festival

Sausage Fest: The Wurst Festival

Do you like sausage? Because I do. I love it, in fact. And guess what? Chicago is getting a wurst festival next week.

From September 18-20 at Daley Plaza, get your fill of local artisanal sausage (three more beautiful words could never be put together in one sentence) and local music! Illinois is home to some of the best farmers, beer, and vintners. If you want to see what they have to offer, come and join me next week sometime to check out a brat and imbibe!

Here are all of the details:


The City of Chicago’s Farmers Markets program, presented by COUNTRY Financial, has partnered with Red Meat Market and Family Farmed to host The Wurst Festival at Daley Plaza (Dearborn and Washington), September 18-20, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. The Wurst Festival is a celebration of some of Chicago’s best artisanal sausage—and music!

The Wurst Festival will not only showcase local sausage makers who use naturally-pastured, sustainably-raised meat from local farms, but also highlight several local bands, serving as a preview to the inaugural Chicago Music Summit being held at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.) on Friday, September 20. The summit, sponsored by Google, is a new conference presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events to shine a spotlight on Chicago’s innovative and thriving music scene and connect professionals with local and national industry leaders.

“This new festival creates an opportunity to highlight two of Chicago’s creative industries—culinary and music—in one fun event,” said Michelle T. Boone, Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. “Our Farmers Markets are a long-standing tradition in Chicago, and this adds a dynamic new element as we continue to ‘grow’ the program.”

Customers can enjoy tasty locally-pastured bratwurst, a cold craft beer or Illinois wine and some of the best local music Chicago has to offer. Admission is FREE.

Musical performances, presented in collaboration with CIMMFest, are as follows:

9/18 5-6 p.m. Mazes

9/18 6-7 p.m. Scott Lucas & the Married Men

9/19 Noon-1 p.m. Lawrence Peters Outfit

9/19 5-6 p.m. LA Jesus

9/19 6-7 p.m. Chicago Afrobeat Project

9/20 Noon-1 p.m. Opposition Party

9/20 5-7 p.m. DJ Madrid w/ Kat V

In addition to having local sausage, and craft beer and wine for festival goers to enjoy on site, there will also be The Wurst Festival “Store” in a big tent selling sauerkraut and fresh and frozen sausages from many local providers to take home. Throughout the day, The Wurst Festival will also showcase chefs, butchers, sausage makers and other guest speakers.

“Today, the art of sausage making is having a rebirth and Chicago has some of the best butchers and sausage makers in the world. The Wurst Festival is their chance in the spotlight—to display their talents, sell their products and share the goodness of the old world tradition of locally-pastured, hand-crafted, artisanal sausage making,” said Mark Wilhelms, Founder of The Wurst Festival and Red Meat Market.

City of Chicago Farmers Markets Program 

For more than three decades, the City of Chicago Farmers Markets program has served to promote community while supporting local businesses and teaching people how to eat healthy. Approximately 100,000 people shop each week at the markets from May through October, which this year included 21 markets across Chicago including five markets on the west side in underserved areas, bringing healthy choices and a healthy lifestyle to more communities. For information, visit

Family Farmed 

Family Farmed is a non-profit organization committed to expanding the production, marketing and distribution of locally-grown and responsibly-produced food, in order to enhance the social, economic and environmental health of our communities. For additional information, visit

Red Meat Market 

Red Meat Market (RMM) is an online and offline social marketplace where meat buyers can easily source and order local, sustainable meat raised without the use of antibiotics or steroids. Launched last year, RMM has been embraced by mommy bloggers, foodies, etc. and continues to “organically” grow as it empowers the local farmer and educates our communities. For additional information, visit

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Tags: chicago, culture, sausage

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