Construction to rebuild the Marktplatz building on the Wurstfest grounds has continued through the coronavirus pandemic, despite the cancellation of the annual festival earlier this summer.
After being destroyed in a series of fires four days after the 2019 Wurstfest celebration, rebuilding efforts began on the new Marktplatz in March 2020.
The 17,000-square-foot facility was scheduled for completion at the end of October 2020 in time for the 60th anniversary of Wurstfest, which was to be held Nov. 6-15. On July 23, the Wurstfest board of directors announced the cancellation of the 2020 festival, citing anticipated challenges with enforcing COVID-19 guidelines at the event.
Wurstfest Executive Director Suzanne Herbelin said the pandemic has not caused any delays in construction, but the board of directors plans to delay some site work to allow New Braunfels Utilities to complete a sewer project slated for November.
“This sewer line currently runs through our property and the new route will take a different, more intrusive path through the area currently under construction,” Herbelin wrote in an email. “As a result, some of the site work may intentionally be delayed to avoid the additional expense of doing the same work twice.”
Once construction is complete, crews will return equipment and decorations salvaged from the original building to the new facility, and replacement decorations will be installed, Herbelin said.
The 2021 celebration has been scheduled for Nov. 5-14, Herbelin said, and there are no plans to use the space for any other events that would present similar public health challenges as Wurstfest.
“The cancellation of the festival gives us a little more time that we can use to our advantage,” Herbelin wrote. “If we don’t look finished from the outside, it’s by design.”