The Toledo area’s oldest, largest and greatest ethnic festival is almost upon us and brings with it many of the exciting events from last year along with new and noteworthy entertainment. The German-American Festival (GAF), operated by G.A.F Society and sponsored by the seven German-and Swiss-American Societies in Toledo, returns to Oregon, Ohio’s, Oak Shade Grove, 3624 Seaman Road, Aug. 22-24.
“We are expecting upwards of 30,000 attendees this year and we couldn’t be more excited to entertain our guests,” explained Festival Chair Timothy Pecsenye. “The incredible support from the community each year never ceases to amaze us.”
The German-American Festival’s attractiveness comes not only from the food, entertainment and the beautiful wooded 10-acres that it is held on. GAF supports many philanthropic programs like the German and Swiss cultural center in Oregon, and a variety of scholarship, athletic and other programs in the Toledo area.
The Festival is truly a celebration of all things German including all of the delicious traditional German foods that are served up all weekend. There will be potato pancakes, schnitzel sandwiches, Bratwurst, potato salad, a large selection of strudels and other pastries and so much more. Wash it all down in the Old World-style outdoor Bier and Wein Garten with an impressive selection of German beers along with featured cocktails, wine and soft drinks.
The highlight of the festival is definitely the headline entertainer, Grammy award nominee Alex Meixner Band from Palm City, Florida. Austrian Express from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will also be performing along with Brother’s Grimm who are strolling musicians from Detroit. Many other local Germanic and ethnic bands such as Euro Express, Jay Fox Band and Polish American Concert Band will also be gracing the stage with their presence.
There are a variety of special events and contests taking place that celebrate German heritage. One of the most popular contests is the Hummel Look-Alike Contest where children dress like a M.I. Hummel figurine and pose for a panel of judges. Also among the list of activities taking place are: the opening ceremonies parade which boasts colorful and ornate traditional costumes, a pretzel eating competition, face painting and clowns, a stone throwing contest, a 50/50 raffle, amusement rides, shopping, dancing, soccer games and so much more.
GAF shuttle tickets are $6.00 and include free parking at the shuttle locations to ensure the convenience and safety of guests.
GAF Shuttle ticket & departure locations:
Bar 145—5305 Monroe St.
Berger’s Old Tyme—1742 W. Laskey Rd.
Mayfly Tavern—4532 N. Summit St. in Point Place
Anchor Inn—4950 Suder Ave. in Point Place
The Attic on Adams—1701 Adams St. in Toledo Uptown
Ye Old Cock n’ Bull—9 N. Huron St. in Downtown Toledo
Belle Wine and Martini Lounge—Perrysburg—Levis Commons
Lucas County Rec Center—2901 Key St. in Maumee
Icon’s Eatery and Entertainment—3105 Navarre in Oregon (complimentary on Friday-6:00 p.m.-close; Saturday- 2:00 p.m. to close; and Sunday- noon to close.)
Pub 51—5110 Woodville Rd. in Northwood (complimentary)
GAF Shuttle Departure Times:
Friday, Aug. 22—6:00 p.m.- 1:00 a.m.
Saturday, Aug. 23—4:00 p.m.- 1:00 a.m.
Last shuttle departs from departure locations to Festival Grounds at 10:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Special Sunday Shuttle: Sunday Aug, 24—2:00 p.m.- 10:00 p.m. from Bar 145 only. Last shuttle departs from Bar 145 on Sunday at 7:00 p.m. Last shuttle departs from Festival Grounds at 11:00 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 22- 6:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m. (Parade and Opening Ceremonies begin at 8:00 p.m.)
Saturday, Aug. 23- 2:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m.
Sunday, Aug. 24- Noon-11:00 p.m.
General admission is $8.00 per person. Children 12 years of age and under are admitted at no charge when with an adult or guardian. $7.00 Discount Advance Purchase Admission Tickets are available for online purchase if you want to save time and avoid lines at www.germanamericanfestival.net or www.gafsociety.org/fest.htm. Two day admission is $10.00 and three day is $15.00, and are also available online.
The Festival is operated by GAF Society, which is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. It is sponsored by the seven German- and Swiss-American societies in Toledo, and is intended to promote and enhance the German and Swiss cultures, as well as generate revenue to support the German and Swiss cultural center in Oregon, along with a variety of scholarship, athletic and philanthropic programs in the Toledo area.