DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – If you ask the faithful members at the Liederkranz-Turner German Club, they’ll tell you the Germanfest Picnic here is as much a celebration of German culture as it is a family reunion of sorts.
“We all enjoy one another and we’re just one big happy family,” explained Janet Boehmer, a club member since 1980 and a picnic volunteer since it began in 1983.
Thursday, a few dozen club members were preparing 3,000 pounds of German potato salad for the three-day festival. The recipe was brought to Dayton and shared with the club by Andrea Hellickson, a native of Heidelberg, Germany and the club’s acting lead cook.
“From the food and the music and of course the beer, it’s like I’m at home,” Hellickson said of the festival’s authenticity.
Many members and volunteers have been helping with the picnic for decades. Margaret Westlund used to dance at Germanfest almost twenty years ago and said the tradition is an increasingly valuable part of her year.
“Oh my goodness, every part is a favorite (experience),” Westlund said. “It hard to distinguish because you need every part to make the whole thing go.”
Judy Schneider, longtime German Club member and the publicity chairperson of the picnic said there’s a German word for the combination of good things.
She said, “It’s called ‘gemütlichkeit.’ It’s that good feeling you get when you’re sitting with a group of friends, you’ve got a stein of cold beer and a plate of wonderful food.”
The Germanfest Picnic 2018 will be held at Riverscape MetroPark near downtown Dayton during the following times:
- Friday from 5-11 p.m
- Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (with 5/10K run at 9 a.m.)
- Sunday, from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. (with Polka Mass at 10 a.m.)
You can find more information and a full schedule of activities here.