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Just in case you didn't know, our headline translates to "See You at Germanfest!" If you are German, then you probably figured it out, but yes, the City of Dayton and Dayton Liederkranz-Turner - Dayton's oldest German organization - really want to see you there!
What is this Germanfest all about? Imagine that you drive by the Carillon Historical Park, and you see people eating, drinking, and being merry. Yep, that would be the Germanfest folks, because that is what they do best! I had the chance to speak with John Koerner - who started at the Picnic as a beer worker about 20 years ago, and has been the Chairperson for the past 7 years - and is still looking forward to another one August 10th, 11th and 12th. Let me give you a bit of Germanfest history, and WHY you should be there!
If you have been to the Germanfest before then you are probably aware that this has been going on for almost 30 years. Did you attend the first one? If so, you might remember this as more of a community picnic than a citywide celebration of German origin in the Carillon Park.
This was originally just a picnic that was started by the Dayton Liederkranz-Turner Club, and it was started because there wasn't much of anything happening in Dayton during the month of August. Although it was started by the club, many outside the club were attending and enjoying the German food and drink. While we are all aware that food, drink, and music make these festivals, it's the culture that changes it. The food will be different here from what you experience at a Greek festival, just as the music would be too.
The Liederkranz Club has a small opening ceremony to their festival to kick things off, and although they would love to do a parade there isn't any place for them to do one right now. The parade would be significant because this is the way it's done in Germany, and everyone loves to experience an authentic festival. So, what can you expect this year at Germanfest?
Get excited! Those that attend each year will be pleased to know that there are familiar bands lined up - including: Hank Haller, Pros't, Alpen Echoes, and Gerbhard Erler. Although the music is enjoyable for most, what is the real attraction? You bet, the big deal for this year is the Craft Beer trailer! As John Koerner put it, "We have the best selection of German beers this side of Munich". There will be some amazing craft beers, featuring some of the finest in the area like the Hefeweisen from the Dayton Beer Company and other amazing craft beers.
There will also be a fine selection of handmade crafts and greeting cards, and stained glass beneath the two large vendor tents. Many of the craft vendors are relatively new to Germanfest, but each year someone new appears. With more to look at, and these amazing craft beers, there is definitely going to be more folks attending this year than last because it grows every year.
So, what's happening with food at the Germanfest? Be sure to try some authentic schnitzel - a favorite with regulars. Naturally, you can expect to see the typical bratwurst, sauerkraut, and German potato salad. Also, if you have been to the Sauerkraut Festival in Waynesville, then you might be familiar with German Sundaes - potato with sauerkraut served in a cone! You can also expect some interesting finds from Azerah, one of the amazing food vendors that you'll find at the Second Street Market.
Naturally, Germanfest is a family affair, so don't forget the Kids Zone where they enjoy some time on the inflatables, and some games too. There is also a 5k run that kicks things off on Friday evening at 6:30 p.m.
So come on out and enjoy the customs, the food, the music, and the fun, and you will be sure to return every year hereafter.
The picnic takes place on August 10th from 5 until 11 p.m., August 11th from noon until 11 p.m., and Sunday August 12th from noon until 6 p.m. at the Carillon Historical Park, 1000 Carillon Blvd. in Dayton. There is no charge to attend the Germanfest picnic, but those who wish to park will pay $2 for parking on-site.
For more information, you can visit the website at www.daytongermanclub.org, and we will see you in the Biergarten!