June 4, 2011 marked the 116th anniversary of Cincinnati's German Day celebrations. Expanded from a one day event, the party now spills over to two days and is sponsored under the umbrella organization of the German-American Citizen's League. The events kicked off at 10:30 on Saturday morning at Cincinnati's historic Findlay Market. This huge market hall is home to many butchers, bakers, fish mongers, produce sellers and other small stands. Outside, visitors were treated to performances from the Kinderchor, Donauschwanben Dancers, and the Old St. Mary's Kellerchor. The Civil War era poem, "At Your Side, There Were Germans too" was also read. After the crowd sang the American and German anthems, several officials made short comments before the various clubs gathered to parade around the square, which was led by Germania's Jagdhorn players. Afterwards, the crowd adjourned to the beer garden, despite the heat, to enjoy the music of Die Vereinsmusikanten. A small beer stand was set up outside featuring 3 beers from the Christian Moerlein brewery (Helles, IPA, & Amber Ale) and from Hodepohl- a resurrected Cincinnati brand which is really catching fire locally.
The celebration continued on Sunday afternoon at the Hofbräuhaus in Newport, KY. The Jagdhorn groups was back, along with several other groups. Later in the evening, the Enzian Dancers showed off their Schuplattler skills and also performed a song featuring 4 horse whips cracking in unison. The entire place was full, mainly with club members and Lederhosen, Dirndls and German hats were every everywhere. The Hofbräuhaus in Newport is allowed to brew the Hofbräu Beer according to the Munich recipe and the freshness if the beer makes it a real treat. A keg of the new "German Pilsner" was also tapped - and many guests were showered with the spray!
On a personal note, Vonia and I were inducted into the Germania Society of Cincinnati on Friday night and also joined the Hofbräu's Steinmeister Club. If you are going to be in the Cincinnati area, please feel free to borrow our BayernTrips beer stein. Not only will you enjoy the beer more in an authentic ceramic beer stein, you'll also get a discount on the beer price. Just contact me at Scott@BayernTrips.com and I'll tell you the secret of how to access the mug!
We also enjoyed an evening near Columbus Ohio with Ohio Chuck ( aka Mr M.) and his wife. We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Jürgens in the German Village where we celebrated Vonia's birthday. The lovely lady who runs Jürgens has all our BayernTrips banners and posters up and her food is excellent - we particularly enjoyed the Torte she gave us! On Saturday nights we were treated to an awesome party at Paul and Cindy K's and many of our Cincinnati friends were in attendance. There was great food, a fresh keg of Spaten, and a wide selection of Schnapps to be had! We had a great time and still managed to make it to Sunday mass at Old St. Mary's. This beautiful church is the oldest Catholic Church in Ohio and still offers mass in German every Sunday. With every one on their way to to the Hofbräuhaus later, many were already outfitted in Tracht. Of course, enjoying the camaraderie in the church basement is always a highlight after the service!
It was a time with our friends from Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. Don't forget Germania's outstanding Oktoberfest on the last weekend of August and also the Händlmaier Mustard Cub gathering on the second Saturday of each month at Mecklenburg Gardens.