One of summer’s highlights each August is the festive Sommer Oktoberfest hosted at the Donauschwaben German-American Cultural Center • Cleveland located at Lenau Park in Olmsted Falls.
The Sommer Oktoberfest took place last weekend, Aug. 19-21, bringing great German music, food and activities to this cultural centerpiece along Columbia Road.
Things started with a bang Friday night as the Donauschwaben Brass Band Blaskapelle filled the giant party tent with the traditional sounds of German music. A ceremonial keg tapping followed, and that set the stage for a weekend of great food, music and song.
The youth dance group Jugendgruppe brought joy and energy to the floor as mugs were lifted and guests enjoyed menu delights like pork and chicken schnitzel, potato pancakes and strudel.
A show stopper is the children’s dance group Kindergruppe, which passes the tradition of German folk music down through the generations.
A cultural dance group Kulturgruppe added to the appreciation of the German heritage, as did the Schuhplatter slap-dancers.
The German-American Cultural Center is home to the Cleveland Donauschwaben (Danube Swabians) ethnic group. The Donauschwaben are a German ethnic group that primarily immigrated to America following World War II and created a society to celebrate their traditions and language.
The Cleveland Donauschwaben have a very active membership of all ages that enjoys participating in a variety of groups and activities. Without the hard work and dedication of all of their ancestors, the traditions they have kept, the friendships that have formed, and the memories that have been made would not have been possible.
The goals of the German-American Cultural Center are to promote and continue the traditions of the Donauschwaben ancestors through the language, song, dance, music, dress and customs of their ancestors. They pay tribute to their ancestors that have endured so many hardships and worked so hard to give the future generations so much.