Demonstrations were given by various Turner groups, each vying to be recognized for their gymnastic skills. Gentlemen were clad in the traditional garb of white pants (short or otherwise, sometimes quilted, and referred to in athletic lore as “Turner pants”), sleeveless shirts for the strenuous calisthenics, and long sleeves with flowing ties for the more elaborate exhibitions. Singing competitions were held, along with the “mental turning” contest of recitation. The athletic events included relay races, the broad jump, the shot put, the pole vault, and the hurdles. Souvenirs such as Turnfest punch cups were available, and one Turner paraded around the grounds in a specially-made commemorative beaded belt.
Winners of the competitions were awarded medals and laurel wreaths to signify their achievements. Overall, the grand winner was Joseph Lindner of Frankfort, Germany with 96 points. His victory from taking part in the several track and field events was considered the highest athletic achievement a Turner could earn. The Sud St. Louis Turn Verein won a special prize for the best kitchen tent, and J.C.M. Goetz of suburban Hartwell was given special recognition for holding the oldest Turner passport in the United States, issued in Nuremberg in 1864.