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44th German-American Fest, Aug. 28-30

The German-American Festival, Toledo area’s oldest and largest ethnic fest returns to its familiar Oregon, Ohio grounds for three days the weekend of Friday, Aug. 28 through Sunday Aug. 30, 2009. 

Authentic German food, beverages, and entertainment will be in abundance, featuring continuous live music at three stages from local Germanic and ethnic bands, an old world-style Bier & Wein Garten, the Import Haus featuring steins, linens and other gift items, new amusement park rides, and the fest’s signature 56’ by 40’ wooden dance floor in the main Fest Zelt tent – a 100’ by 265’ clear span without poles.

According to Timothy Pecsenye, festival chair, this year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever. “The GAF is a Toledo tradition that the community just seems to rally around,” Pecsenye said. “Local newspaper readers have voted it ‘best ethnic festival’ in the area for 11 out of the last 12 years.

“The sights, smells and tastes of the German and Swiss cultures are right here to be enjoyed by people of all ages. It’s what keeps everyone coming back for more.”

The festival opens at 6 p.m. on Friday, August 28, with a parade and opening ceremonies scheduled for 8 p.m. Other attractions include a Hummel look-alike contest for children two to 10 years old, the centuries old authentic Swiss Steinstossen stone-throwing contest, a raffle with a grand prize of $2,000, a first-time ever baking contest on Saturday, and one of the largest collections of German beers and wines you’re likely to ever find in one place.

“We’re also excited to have Die Sandler, a five-piece band from Steinach, the ‘town of wells’ in the Thuringian Forest, headline entertainment on the weekend,” Pecsenye said.

“And, our traditional German-language worship service is something that’s going to be very special. To be held on Sunday, August 30 at 10:30 a.m., the service will be highlighted by music by our own Teutonia Männerchor & Damenchor and the Toledo Swiss Singers, along with 50 more singers from the Chorgemeinschaft Texas. Anyone attending will get free admission to the fest after the service.”

Highlighting the Sunday schedule of entertainment at the Hofräuhalle (formerly the Schwabenhalle Outdoor Pavilion) will be the accordion-driven musical equivalent of Pink Floyd – Polka Floyd – performing from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. To accommodate this “must-see” group, the fest is even staying open two hours later, instead of the traditional closing time of 8 p.m.





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