18 November, 2014


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Germanfest Picnic in Dayton Celebrates 30th Anniversary

Dayton Dragons’ Mascot, Gem, with Germanfest Picnic Co-Founder, Wanda Wiedman.

Dayton - After monsoon-type rains Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, the weather cleared, and was perfect for the weekend of August 9, 10 and 11, 2013, in Dayton, Ohio. The sun shone brightly all weekend on the beautiful fest grounds of Carillon Historical Park and more than 35,000 festival goers.

It probably helps that two local meteorologists are on the Germanfest team – TV2’s Weatherman Brian Davis emceed the opening ceremonies, and Meteorologist Jamie Jarosik, also from Channel 2, moderated the Saturday afternoon German Fashion Show, beautifully attired in a Bavarian costume. 

The 30th edition of the Germanfest Picnic was heralded in by the majestic sounds of Alphorn Gruezie, from the Columbus, OH, area. Their fanfares and beautiful Alpine music were the perfect announcement of the Opening Ceremonies for the 30th Annual Germanfest Picnic, which featured a traditional keg-tapping ceremony and presentation of $2,750 in scholarship awards to students Natalie Martin, Peter Kleinberg and Katherine Kleinberg. Dayton Dragons Mascot, Gem, helped present the awards.  After the official ceremonies, Alphorn Gruezie delighted listeners at the band breaks, and by taking their instruments to all areas of the park, so everyone would be able to see and hear them.

Greeting visitors at the front entrance all weekend was organ grinder Ted Guillaum from Nashville, TN. He was appearing for the first time at the Germanfest Picnic, and was a huge hit with both old and young fest goers, some of whom were even allowed to try their hand at organ grinding on the beautiful Black Forest instrument.

It wouldn’t be Germanfest without the wonderful Liederkranz food and the huge selection of German and craft biers, and an army of volunteers assured that no one left hungry or thirsty. New offerings this year were Wurstsalat and Cream Puffs, both of which were very well received.

Inside the Kettering Building, guests could get help tracing their German roots from members of the German Genealogy Group, and check out the Cultural Display, HOCHWASSER, which commemorated the effects of Dayton’s epic 1913 Flood on the German community at that time, through vintage photos and other artifacts, including the original minutes books, all in German, of course, of both the Dayton Turner Verein, and the Liederkranz Singing society.

Fr. Bill Myers celebrated a Polka Mass on Sunday morning, accompanied by members of the Alpen Echos Band. Prost and the Chardon Polka Band also provided wonderful live German music for listening and dancing throughout the weekend.

Now that the 30th Germanfest Picnic is just a memory, plans are already underway to make the 2014 event even better.

Anya and Caroline all ready for the Bavarian Fashion Show.



Last modified on:08/25/2014

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