Snohomish Sauerkraut Band says farewell
The energetic Snohomish Sauerkraut Band began on a lark over 50 years ago and became a longstanding fixture of entertainment at regional parades and watering holes.
SNOHOMISH — Well, that’s a wrap. The end of the show, and the end of an era. A couple of Saturday nights ago, in a jubilant and somewhat emotional get together, the World Famous Snohomish Sauerkraut Band called it quits. Gathering up at the American Legion Post on First Street, the band played, reminisced, and entertained the modest crowd that had gathered.
For over 50 years, the band has brought smiles and laughter to people all over the Northwest. Playing in parades, events, and fund raisers from Winlock to Williams Lake, Concrete to Conconully, and Bellingham to Butte, the ‘Krauts were never without invitations.
What began as a stop gap effort to ensure that the 1968 Kla Ha Ya Days parade had a marching band (since the high school band was in Europe that year) became an instant hit. Founder Art Schwartzmiller, a local jazz trumpeter, and several other prominent musicians in the area were the core of the band for years. As time went by, and members passed, new blood just kept coming along, eager to share in the fun of entertaining people with music and “schtick.”
Mike Guyot, the band’s “business manager” said “I’ve never met a better bunch of people. They will do anything for you, and for anyone else too. The great music they play is just a bonus.”
In recent years (well, prior to 2020), the band partnered with the Seattle Seafair Pirates to provide a Christmas Celebration for adult special needs citizens. The band also sponsored music scholarships to Snohomish High School, and made regular contributions to local charities and families in need.
At the last gathering, a number of members shared thank you’s and best wishes. Hats were tipped to the only original member of the group, Jim Werder. Jim was always there, and always right on beat with his kraut-rock snare drum.
Gordon “Animal” Taylor, the band’s “artistic” leader, was short on words. “It’s been a good run, so much fun, so many memories.”
On behalf of the Snohomish Community, we say thanks for the memories. The ‘Krauts have gone, the ‘Krauts have gone, tra la, tra la, tra la!
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