As summer begins to wind down, the pace at Oak Shade Grove in Oregon, Ohio, quickens in preparation for the 47th German-American Festival (GAF), running Friday, Aug. 24 through Sunday, Aug. 26. This summer tradition, which is among the largest ethnic festivals in the Midwest, features time-honored favorite events, and some exciting new offerings.
“We’re expecting attendance of more than 30,000 this year,” said Festival Chair Timothy Pecsenye. “We are pleased to be such a cherished fixture in our community, and especially happy that this festival helps to support many philanthropic programs.” The Festival funds the German and Swiss cultural center in Oregon and a variety of scholarship, athletic and other programs in the Toledo area.
The German-American Festival is synonymous with everything German – great food, drinks and entertainment. Authentic German food – from “Old World” style frankfurters and bratwurst to Leberkas, Kasewurst and Schnitzel – is served up in astounding quantities, along with all manner of side dishes and scrumptious desserts. Wash it all down with an impressive selection of German beers and wines, specialty drinks and soft drinks.
Enjoy continuous live music from three stages throughout the 10 acre wooded property. Featured bands this year include Austrian Express from Milwaukee, and Phenix from Chicago. German polkas and waltzes will showcase local and regional dance groups, including the local Holzhacker Baum Schuhplattler and Cleveland’s Schuhplatter the STV Bavaria.
The festival is also home to many exciting and fun contests, games and rides, including:
• Swiss Steinstossen stone throwing contest (Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 p.m.)
• Hummel Look-Alike Contest (Sunday afternoon)
• Brezelessen pretzel eating contest (Saturday at 9:00 p.m.)
• Masskrug beer stein holding contest (Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.)
• Soccer games (Saturday)
• Amusement rides
Friday, Aug. 24 – 6:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. (Parade and Opening Ceremonies begin at 8:00 p.m.)
Saturday, Aug. 25 – 2:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
Sunday, Aug. 26 – Noon to 11:00 p.m. (German language worship service at 10:30 a.m.)
Visit www.germanamericanfestival.net or www.gafsociety.org/fest.htm to learn more about festival tickets and discounts, parking and shuttles, special discounts and other details.
- German American Festival Society