Schwingfest kicks off at Swiss Park

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By Teresa Herriman

The Courier-Herald

This weekend, Swiss Park in Bonney Lake will be the site of the 14th annual Fall Schwingfest. The two-day event will feature adult Swiss wrestlers Saturday and youngsters Sunday.

The Swiss Sportsman's Club of Tacoma will host the 14th annual event.

The gates open at 9 a.m. both days. Saturday's admission is $10 for adults. Sunday admission is $8. Children younger than 12 are admitted free all weekend.

Schwinger registration begins at 10 a.m. Saturday for both juniors and seniors. Food will be served from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and the bar closes at 1 a.m.

Dancing to the music of the American Schwyzers begins at 8:30 p.m. The winning Schwingers will be presented with laurel crowns around 10:30 p.m.

Sunday begins with breakfast served by the Enzian Swiss Ladies' Choir from 9 to 11 a.m., with proceeds benefitting the choir. An outdoor mass will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m. A pork loin dinner will be served at 6 p.m. The Buebe Schwinger awards will be presented later at the Swing Platz followed by dancing.

The Swiss Sportsman's Club is an offshoot of the Swiss club established in 1889 to assist Swiss immigrants to this country. In 1955, the rifle club merged with the wrestling club to form the Sportsman's Club. The club meets at Swiss Park in Bonney Lake.

Swiss wrestling, called schwinging, is similar to Sumo wrestling with more clothes, Markus Spitzli explained. Spitzli is the current president of the club.

Teresa Herriman can be reached at

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