German Fest comes to South Hills

Published Aug 16, 2013 at 2:22 pm (Updated Aug 16, 2013 at 2:22 pm)

A taste of Teutonic culture will be at the forefront of the first German Fest to be held rain or shine Aug. 24 at The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Upper St. Clair.

Erik Wittmann, president of the Pittsburgh chapter of DANK, the Deutch Amerikanischer National Kongress, said last year’s convention was such a success that he was prompted to hold an annual event.

DANK was founded in Pittsburgh in 1981 to bring together Germans and Americans of German ancestry in Western Pennsylvania.

“People enjoyed it so much,” Wittmann said of last year’s convention, “that they wanted to extend it to an annual “mini Oktoberfest.” Wittmann said he wanted to put a different spin on Oktoberfest and so he called the event a German Fest.

Geared toward families and people of all ages, German Fest starts at 2 and lasts until 11 p.m.

A buffet, served twice a day, features German fare, including schnitzel, bratwurst, German potatoes and black forest cake. German and local beer will be available. Straub beer will be the featured local beer because it is brewed in the traditional German way.

“We’re trying to maintain the Germanic tradition,” Wittmann said.

German performers including the Augsburg German Band and the Bavarian Schuhplattler Dancers will perform starting at 4 p.m.

The pool area of the hotel will be open with food and drink available and the hotel’s ballroom will be an entertainment area with the buffet.

German Fest is open to the public.

“Anyone who “likes to have some fun and wants to enjoy Germanic culture is welcome, Wittmann stressed.

“Our membership is probably one quarter non-Germanic,” added Wittmann of DANK Pittsburgh’s chapter.

Tickets to the Aug. 24 German Fest will be available at the door the day of the event. Adult admission is $10 and discounted tickets are available for children under the age of 16.

Discounted rooms at the hotel will also be available for those who want to spend the night.

Proceeds from the German Fest are earmarked for the DANK Education Fund. The fund provides financial support to local schools that offer German classes and for scholarships for students focusing on a German language curriculum.

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