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23rd Csabai Sausage Festival to take place this October 24th-27th in Békéscsaba

Record youth participation at this year’s tourist event in southeast Hungary.

The town is expecting some 100,000 attendees to the gastro-cultural event, and a 15,000-square-meter tent city will be set on an area of  40,000 square meters to accommodate them all. All in all, some 10,000 kilos of sausage will be filled during the competition, an event complete with music, food, dance, and fun for all ages.

Over 750 teams will take part in the fresh sausage-making competition on Saturday, and there will also be mangalica sausage making and cabbage cooking competitions. A jury of 40 members will pick the best dry sausage from 120 entries as well. 

The surprise this year was the interest from youth. The number of entries was so high that their competition had to be extended to two days: 200 teams from preschools and elementary schools will compete on the 24th, and 200 teams made up of high school and college students will compete on the 25th.

There will also be an event for retired clubs, associations, NGOs, large families, and the handicapped with 50 teams.

The event’s director said that all sausages made are expected to reach a length that could wrap around the whole city and that to date, all sausages prepared at these festivals would reach Budapest.

A main focus will be the Food and Agriculture Exhibition in cooperation with the Tourist Exhibition for Hungary’s Southern Great Plain Region. The original inspiration behind the Csabai Sausage Festival was to highlight the tradition of sausage making – from pig breeding to the traditional pig slaughter and processing – by combining it with the gypsy music, food, and other cultural traditions from the area. It was, per it’s creator, Zoltán Uhrin, “a real folk festival.”

Conceived by Uhrin in 1996, the first actual festival took place in April of 1997 with the backing of numerous partners, including many in business and agriculture as well as heads at Hungarian Tourism Ltd and the Hungarian National Gastronomical Society. The event was so successful that they supposedly ran out of meat, as Uhrin recalls being told, “”Zoli, we’re out of sausage!”

Current Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán was at that first event as president of Fidesz and had supposedly stated that he had never been in such a good mood at an event in his life.

With the backing of the Hungarian National Gastronomic Association and Hungarian Tourism Association, the event took off, and in 1998 the Csaba Sausage Club was founded, electing Uhrin as its president. 

Now a major tourist attraction, the Csabai Sausage Festival is expected to see some 100,000 visitors. One-third of attendees will be from the surrounding area, but others will come from other countries including Romania, Slovakia, Austria, Serbia, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia. People are known to return to the gastro-cultural event year after year to take in the local traditions of sausage making, pig keeping, pig processing, and food! And, of course, music.

Bands playing this year will include Saragossa Band, Kowalsky and Vega, the Stars of the Neoton Familia, Magna Cum Laude, Dead Money, and Punnany Massif. A family program on Sunday will feature the Bubble and Alma ensemble and the Sunshine Puppet Theater.

More information is available here.

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