What is Schmeckfest? And Where is Lustre, Montana?
What is Schmeckfest? And where is Lustre, Montana? I had a lifelong Montanan ask me those very questions. So, I imagine there may be a few of you out there- especially since Lustre just made it to their first ever State Class C Basketball Tournament.
Bill Reddig joined us from Lustre Friday morning on the Montana Talks Statewide Radio Show with Aaron Flint. They just had Schmeckfest on Friday night. (thanks to Bill Reddig for sharing photos)
Where is Lustre?
Bill Reddig: We are out in the middle of nowhere. We're north of Wolf Point- about 40 miles, and we're from North of Glasgow- around 60, a little under 60 miles. So we're close to Canada and not far from North Dakota.
What is Schmeckfest?
Friday night was the 58th Annual Festival of German Tasting, or Schmeckfest, in the tiny Northeastern Montana town of Lustre. It is the big fundraiser for the Lustre Christian School featuring all sorts of baked goods, German sausages, piroshky, and more.
Is Lustre like an island of Germans in a sea of Scandinavians?
Bill Reddig: 1915-1916 a bunch of German Mennonites moved into this area and homesteaded. They ended up starting a school, Lustre Bible Academy in 1928. And then it became accredited 4 year high school in 1948, and it was changed to Lustre Christian High School.
The Christian school and community has a great reputation. Right now students from all over the world are boarding at Lustre Christian and spending the school year in a very remote corner of an already remote Northeastern Montana.
Bill Reddig: It is the school and the churches that hold this community together. We have all the schools- communities around us that have ended up closing, which is pretty sad- schools I played against. And this Christian School, boarding school, has kept our community together. It keeps us basically unified. End goal is to reach these kids. They come from all over the US and the world- and tell them about the gospel and also just to give them a great education and a great future for life ahead.
For audio of our conversation, go to the last 15 minutes or so of our conversation from the 9A hour:
Thanks to our friends at KVCK Radio in Wolf Point who gave us a heads up on Schmeckfest- maybe next year we can join them at the event.
I also got a chance to hang out with John Machart from KCGM Radio in Scobey when Lustre played in the Class C tournament. It was their first ever time qualifying for the state tournament.
If you saw all the players on the court from all over the world, you might have thought that they went out and recruited basketball players to come here and play for their school. Machart told me that some of these kids had never played basketball before- they came to Montana so they could escape the COVID closures and lockdowns in their home countries and enjoy school here.
More photos from Schmeckfest:
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