The festival, sponsored by the Plattduetsche Volksfest Verren of New York and New Jersey, is the largest and oldest German-American charitable folk festival in North America. The primary recipient of its proceeds will be the Fritz Reuter Altenheim senior building located next to Schuetzen Park. Celebrants are invited to tour the home and grounds during the two days of the festival.The festival will feature traditional German folk music played by the Happy Austrians and Die Schlauberger bands who are considered some of the hottest German acts in the country. The Schlauberger band has turned on a whole new generation onto the Germanic heritage by performing traditional German folk music as well as contemporary styles including "Alpine Rock," which is now considered all the rage throughout the alpine regions of Germany and Austria.
Also taking the stage are the internationally known German Dance Groups performing both days, including the New York-based Koelsche Funke Carnival Dancers who still keep their direct ties to their original club in Cologne, Germany.
There will also be a Little Miss Schuetzen Park Beauty Pageant for girls from 8 to 12 years of age on Sunday at 6 p.m. The queen and the two runners up will receive trophies, a costume-fitted gown and will ride on the Little Miss Schuetzen Park Float in the Annual Steuben Day Parade on Saturday, Sept. 16 on New York's Fifth Avenue. All contestants will receive a gift for participating.
But all children can participate in the ice-cream parade and the game booths with prizes. There will be also be a clown and a moonwalk.
Some traditional German food at the fest will include Leberkaese, potato pancakes, roast beef and pork sandwiches. And to wash it down, adults can visit the traditional Imported German Beer and Schnapps Booth.
Club formed five years ago
The Young German American Club formed five years ago, has members and is a subsidiary of the PVV. As they celebrate their fifth year anniversary, they're working hard to support the PVV and the annual Volksfest, which brings first, second and third generation German-Americans together to provide entertainment for the local community. Many of its members have fond childhood memories of past Volkfests.
"As a child, I remember how wonderful it was to come to Schuetzen Park with my Grandmother to participate in the Volksfest activities," said club member Kathryn Bittner. "Currently, as a member of the Young German American Club, I hope to contribute back what was offered to me as a child. We are all trying to create those same fond moments for the current generation of kids and young adults, ultimately, preserving our German-American heritage for generations to come. After all, it's all about the kid's and we plan to do more and more fun things for them in the years to come."
PPV President Henry Ehlen agreed.
"The Volksfest at Schuetzen Park is a great place where all the clubs, friends and families can get together and keep the fond memories alive," said Ehlen.
The festival was scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 19, and today (Sunday, Aug. 20) from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is $6 per person and children 16 and under can go for free when accompanied by an adult.
On Sunday, Aug. 20th a German Church Service will be held at 11:00 a.m., but after that, the fest will resume its regularly-scheduled celebratory atmosphere.
To learn more about the Young German American Club, visit their website at www.hometown.aol.com/ygac.