The next American Turners National Festival is coming to New Ulm, Minnesota. The festival will run from Tuesday, July 18, to Saturday, July 22, 2023.
On September 23, 2021, the Turner National Council accepted the New Ulm Turners’ bid to host the event — the oldest continuing sports festival in the United States. The first Turnfest was held in 1851 in Philadelphia. Known as “The People’s Olympics”, the event is held once every four years, giving Turners the opportunity to compete in sports and cultural events. Although the New Ulm Turnverein is one of the oldest and most significant clubs in the United States, it has never hosted the National Festival.
Reflecting the Turners’ motto, “A Sound Mind in a Sound Body,” Turnfest is divided into two areas of participation. The physical competition includes men and women’s gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, tumbling, track and field events, swimming, diving, volleyball, golf, tennis, mass drill and model drill exhibitions. Cultural exhibitions and events include more than 100 categories from scrap books to fine art to solo and group music, speech, and dance performances. The Turners have always been a family organization and participants range from nine years of age to ninety.