“We are proud to show off our German traditions each year,” explained Festival Chair Timothy Pecsenye. “Our popularity among the people of this area helps us to support many philanthropic programs,” including 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 among the Midwest’s largest ethnic festivals and is famous for its wide variety of great food, including “Old World” style frankfurters, bratwurst, Leberkas, Kasewurst and Schnitzel, potato pancakes, sauerkraut and a beautiful selection of homemade pastries and desserts. A selection of 46 international beers (more than the Oktoberfest in Germany), several featured cocktails and five selections of German wines will be available.
Another popular feature of the Festival is the collection of special events and contests that celebrate the German Heritage. Continuous live music is also featured at three stages throughout the 10-acre wooded property, from local Germanic and ethnic bands (including featured bands Austrian Express from Milwaukee, Wisc., and Alpen Echos from Cincinnati), a strolling button box artist from Germantown, Wisc., and “The Brothers Grimm” strolling musicians from Detroit.
And while this dedication to Old World tradition is what draws the crowds of over 30,000 attendees, the GAF Society made an impressive change for 2013. New this year is an expanded list of shuttle locations, including a special Sunday Shuttle from Bar 145 on Monroe Street. Shuttles will run from 6:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Friday, Aug. 23 and 4:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 24 (with the last shuttle leaving the departure locations at 10:00 p.m. and departing the festival grounds at 1:00 a.m.); the Special Sunday Shuttle will run from 2:00 to 10:00 p.m. from Bar 145 only (with the last shuttle leaving Bar 145 at 7:00 p.m. and leaving the festival grounds at 11:00 p.m.). Shuttle ticket and departure locations include:
- Bar 145, Monroe St. (use former Cinema for parking)
- Berger’s Olde Tyme, Laskey Rd.
- Lucas County Recreation Center, Maumee
- Mayfly Tavern, Summit St., Point Place
- Anchor Inn, Suder Ave., Point Place
- The Attic on Adams, Downtown Toledo
- Ye Olde Cock n’ Bull Tavern, Downtown Toledo
- Shawn’s Irish Tavern, W. Bancroft St., Sylvania Township
- Icons Eatery and Entertainment, Navarre Ave., Oregon, which provides a free shuttle Friday from 6:00 p.m. to close, Saturday from 2:00 p.m. to close and Sunday from noon to close
The festival also features a collection of amusement rides and face painting for children, an abundance of German and Swiss shopping and traditional dancing groups to ensure entertainment for all ages. Wander the Hofbrauhalle outdoor pavilion, Bier & Wein Garten, Sidewalk Café and Swiss Essen Haus to experience a recreation of a real German village.
Festival hours: Friday, Aug. 23 – 6:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. (Parade and Opening Ceremonies begin at 8:00 p.m.); Saturday, Aug. 24 – 2:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 25 – Noon to 11:00 p.m. (German language worship service at 10:30 a.m.)