Toledo, Ohio - The German-American Festival did not disappoint
as it drew one of its largest crowds ever this past weekend, Aug 22-24. More
than 35,000 people were in attendance this year.
Despite a few setbacks such as the cooler fire in one of our refrigerated
trucks causing us to lose six 55 gallon drums of sauerkraut, a bunch of eggs
and a ton and a half of hand made potato salad, I would say this year had
the best turnout to date. It was amazing to see all of the volunteers come
together and make the festival happen without a hitch. The show must go on
and that it did, said Tim Pecsenye, Festival Chairman.
We want to say a big THANK YOU to all the extremely dedicated volunteers
and friends who poured their time and efforts into making this festival
great, and to those who really stepped up and helped us during the fire
crisis. Without them it would not have been possible. We hope that they
enjoyed the festivities, and look forward to their support again next year,
said Pecsenye. We also would like to thank the administrators and employees
of the City of Oregon, the Oregon School District and employees, and
neighbors in the area for their patience throughout the last weekend.
This years special events and contests that took place to help celebrate
the German heritage had great participation and enthusiasm.
This was the fourth year that GAF sponsored 50/50 raffles. Over the course
of the three-day event, nine winners took home an amazing combined total of
1st - Robert Steinecker, Perrysburg, OH - $1225
2nd - Jennifer Perkins, Toledo, OH - $200
3rd - Alan Saunders, Oregon, OH - $100
1st - Susan Shultz, - $1515
2nd - Frank Duran, Toledo, OH - $200
3rd - Diana Coyne, Temperance MI - $100
1st - Mark Sabchur, Washington, PA - $2255
2nd - Kathy Lemay, Toledo, OH - $200
3rd - Ronald Heidon, Dundee, MI - $100
Swiss Steinstossen is a stone-throwing contest where the stones weigh 138
pounds for men and 75 pounds for women.
1st - Rachael Hinkle - 94
2nd - Elissa Ackerman - 9-1
3rd - Tyler Riddle
1st - Zach Diekman - 13-6
2nd - Joe Bronowski - 12-10
3rd - Kevin Jennings - 12-3
1st - Tyler Riddle - 9-10
2nd - Rachael Hinkle - 9-8
3rd - Elissa Ackerman - 9-3
1st - Casey Hernyak - 12-8.5
2nd - Joe Bronowski - 12-6.5
3rd - Kevin Jennings - 12-6
The Masskrugstemmen is a contest in which contestants compete to see who can
hold the Masskrug which is a liter mug of beer, for the longest amount of
time with one arm completely stretched out and parallel to the floor.
1st - Thomas Sadony - 6:19
2nd - Zach Hribar - 6:13
3rd - Chris Burns - 6:00
1st - Traci Albrecht - 2:44
2nd - Joleen Schwab - 2:42
3rd - Katie Barney - 2:35
1st - Amber Lansman - 4:06
Tied for 2nd - Jeannie Smith- 2:30
Tied for 2nd - Lori Schultz - 2:30
Tied for 2nd - Kelly OBrien - 2:30
1st - Jerry Karn - 9:19
2nd - Timothy Zuehlke - 9:03
3rd - Jake Grover - 7:53
The German Kuchen Baking Contest brought in delicious entries that were
thoroughly enjoyed by the judges. Also, this was the third year for the
Brezlen Essen Contest (pretzel eating). The winner of the Brezlen Essen,
Brenden, has prevailed for the last three years. This year Brenden consumed
nine soft pretzels in just five minutes.
The Hummel look-a-like contest was an adorable display as always, drawing
large crowds to gather and watch the excitement.
1st Brody Batterline - Hum #174 She Loves me She Loves Me Not - Sylvania,
2nd Emma Ellison Hum #98 Sister - Lincoln Park, MI
3rd Landon Caryer - Hum #312 Honey Lover Sylvania, OH
Hon. Men. Callen Willey - Hum #2156 Loads of Fun Toledo, OH
Hon. Men. Landon Krestrick - Hum #2344 Country Figurine Toledo, OH
Hon. Men. Emma Malcolm Hum #98 Sister Toledo, OH
1st Mason Caryer Hum #2334B A Little Boo Boo Sylvania, OH
2nd Cade Schober Hum #633 Im Carefree Riga, MI
3rd Abby Caryer Hum #768/1 Pixie Sylvania, OH
Hon. Men. Tawny Zimmerman - Hum #495 Evening Prayer Holland, OH
1st Anna Schober - Hum #257 For Mother - Riga, MI
The Swiss cheese eating contest was also a huge success. There were 20
individuals who participated in the 3rd annual contest with seven
individuals on stand by. The contest was held on Saturday, Aug. 23 in the
Schwabenhalle and hosted by the Swiss Essen Haus. Participants were required
to eat a ½ pound of Swiss cheese, take a shot of prune juice and were
allowed to drink a beer.
1st Kevin Gross 2:07
2nd Ryan Metzger 2:25
3rd Joe Downard 4:01
We were excited about the crowds that our fest drew this year, it was truly
unbelievable. Bratwurst, potato salad and potato pancakes were just a few of
the many extremely popular and delicious authentic German food choices that
were enjoyed by all. Walking around the festival and seeing everyone enjoy
the festivities was a very rewarding experience.
The German-American Festival is the largest supporter of high school level
foreign language education in the Toledo area. The German-American Festival
Society announced its scholarship awards for 2014. Over $4,000 in
scholarships and awards mark the 49th year of recognizing young German
scholars in northwest Ohio.
Additionally, several German and Swiss Societies make scholarships
available. The Toledo Schwaben Verein has awarded scholarships for 13 years,
for a total of 105 scholarships and $52,500. The GBU Financial Life also
annually awards several scholarships and grants promoting scholarship
through the GBU Foundation.
St. Louis Helping Hands Ministry and Little Sisters of the Poor benefited
from the leftover food.
The committee has already started to work on next years festival, as it
will be a rather exciting one. In 2015 the German-American Festival will be
celebrating 50 years.
About the German-American Festival: The Festival is operated by GAF Society,
which is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3)
charitable organization. It is sponsored by the seven German- and
Swiss-American societies in Toledo, and is intended to promote and enhance
the German and Swiss cultures, as well as generate revenue to support the
German and Swiss cultural center in Oregon, along with a variety of
scholarship, athletic and philanthropic programs in the Toledo area.