Willkommen to the Schmidts

Thursday, July 28, 2016
Josiah Schmidt, a genealogist from Emmetsburg, has been working hard to contact thousands of relatives in preparation for the Schmidt Family Reunion this weekend. The family can trace its roots to the small town of Machtlos (pictured) in the Wildeck forest of central Germany. The family hopes to gather enough relatives to break the record for largest family reunion in the country, if not the world. (Photo submitted)

Tomorrow, thousands of Schmidts will descend upon the Clay County Fairgrounds to attend the Schmidt Family Reunion. Public events are also being conducted for those who don't claim the name of Schmidt. These public events have been dubbed Schmidt Fest and will include German lessons, food, historical presentations and live music.

"It's not everyday in northwest Iowa that you get to enjoy real German food and beer while experiencing live German music and entertainment in an atmosphere that's fun for folks of all ages," reunion organizer Josiah Schmidt said.

Schmidt, a genealogist from Emmetsburg, took on the task of organizing the family reunion which quickly gained interest.

"We put out some feelers for a big reunion and generated a great deal of excitement amongst the various cousins," Schmidt said.

In fact, interest became so great that the Clay County Fairgrounds was the only location with enough space to host the reunion. The flock of Schmidts will be attempting to set a record for largest family reunion.

"The current world record, held by a family in France, will be very difficult to achieve," Schmidt said, "Getting all 10,000 or so of the American Schmidt cousins to come to Iowa has been a bit more of a challenge than we have expected. However, the record for the largest family reunion in American history is only 2,500. We are banking on at least being the biggest family reunion in the history of the North American continent, which will be nothing to sneeze at."

Jeremy Parsons, manager of the Clay County Fairgrounds, said the reunion will be one of the largest non-fair events the fairgrounds has seen.

Parsons agreed saying, "It's a large benefit for Spencer. There are thousands of people coming to town and it's just another example of the year-round events at the Clay County Fair."

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: