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The ultimate guide to German-American Festival 2022

Here's everything you need to know for this weekend's festivities.

OREGON, Ohio — Editor's note: The attached video is regarding the history of the German-American Festival from a story that aired on Aug. 22, 2022.

The German-American Festival (GAF) is a time-honored northwest Ohio tradition. Here's what you need to know to make this weekend "wunderbar."

Location

Event

Oak Shade Grove

3624 Seaman Road, Oregon Ohio

Parking

  • 70 acres of parking are available
  • Parking areas can be entered from Starr Avenue, Corduroy Road or Seaman Street
  • "People movers" are available to transport visitors from parking areas to festival grounds in golf carts
  • Parking also available at Starr Elementary School, Fassett Middle School and Clay High School lots (east lot)
    • Shuttles will run from the above lots to festival grounds 
  • Handicapped parking available directly in front of festival grounds on Seaman Road, car must include handicapped parking sticker/sign
  • A parking map can be viewed here.

Shuttles will run from Toledo to festival grounds for $10. Shuttle tickets include free parking at a pick-up lot and drop-off at the location.

To view a list of shuttle locations and departure times, click here

Days & Times

  • Friday, Aug. 26 from 6 p.m. - 1 a.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 27 from 2 p.m. to 1 a.m.
  • Sunday, Aug. 28 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Tickets

Festival

  • Single day - $9
  • Two-day pass - $15
  • Three-day pass - $20
  • Children under 12 receive free admission when accompanied by an adult

Food & Beverage

  • One ticket - 50 cents
    • For context, a bratwurst in 2021 cost 11 tickets, or $5.50

Transportation

  • Single day shuttle pass - $10
  • Two-day shuttle pass - $18

Festival tickets are still available for purchase online and at the gate. Food and beverage tickets are no longer available for online purchase.

Food & Beverage

What to eat

  • Bratwurst - German-style sausage that comes in a variety of flavors and styles, including jalapeno, cheddar and smoked
  • Schnitzel - breaded, tenderized slice of meat, served on a Kaiser roll
  • Potato pancakes - potatoes, carrots and onions mashed up and fried, German-style (which have a strained relationship with local refrigerators and fires)
  • Swiss Bäckerei - Swiss-style bakery with imported cheeses, breads and meats. Homemade pastries are also available here.
  • Chicken - prepared in a maxi-cooker to ensure each piece is perfectly cooked
  • Potato saladdone German-style, with vinegar and pickles
  • Pommes Fritesfries
  • And more, including pickles, sauerkraut balls, cake, ice cream, pretzels and funnel cakes. 

What to drink

Although Germany is well-known for its brats and pretzels, it is perhaps equally well-known for its beer. For the beer-drinkers among us, the GAF does not disappoint in the category of adult beverages. If you prefer other types of libations, they've got you covered, too. 

  • 54 beers are available
  • 13 beers on tap, including three varieties from Earnest Brew Works
  • 41 packaged beer varieties
  • Four malt beverage, including Mike's Hard Lemonade
  • Seven wines
  • Pepsi products and soft drinks
  • Three featured cocktails
    • A German flag layered drink (black, red and yellow)
    • German Chocolate Cupcake
    • Gummi Bear Drink (gummi bears at the bottom)

Alcohol sales cease at midnight on Friday and Saturday. Alcohol is available on Sunday. 

For a full list of food and drinks, click here

RELATED: Potato Pancakes a Big Hit at German American Festival

Events & Competitions

Friday

6:45 p.m., Weingarten: D'Holzhacker Baum Schuhplatter Gruppe, the Toledo-based Bavarian Sports Club performs a German dance while chopping wood in rhythm with music

6:45 p.m., Schwabenhalle: Deutsche Volkstanz Gruppe, a Toledo-based traditional German dance group

7:30 p.m., Arena: Stein-lifting competition. See who can hold a beer stein the longest!

8 p.m., Main Stage: Opening ceremony, held immediately after the parade through the festival grounds

8:45 p.m., Schwabenhalle: D'Holzhacker Baum Schuhplatter Gruppe

Saturday

2 p.m., Soccer Field: Black Forest Rovers vs. Windsor FC, ein Fußball game! 

2:45 p.m., Weingarten: D'Holzhacker Baum Schuhplatter Gruppe

3 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Arena: Swiss stone-throwing competition

3:45 p.m., Weingarten: Deutsche Volkstanz Gruppe

4:45 p.m., Schwabenhalle: Deutsche Volkstanz Gruppe

4:45 p.m., Weingarten: D'Holzhacker Baum Schuhplatter Gruppe

7:30 p.m., Arena: Stein-lifting competition

7:45 p.m., Schwabenhalle: Deutsche Volkstanz Gruppe

7:45 p.m., Weingarten: D'Holzhacker Baum Schuhplatter Gruppe

Sunday

10:30 a.m., Schwabenhalle: German language worship service

1 p.m. - 1:45 p.m., Arena: Hummel look-alike contest

1:45 p.m., Weingarten: Deutsche Volkstanz Gruppe

1:45 p.m., Schwabenhalle: D'Holzhacker Baum Schuhplatter Gruppe

2:45 p.m., Weingarten: D'Holzhacker Baum Schuhplatter Gruppe

2:45 p.m., Schwabenhalle: D'Holzhacker Baum Schuhplatter Gruppe

3 p.m. - 3:45 p.m., Arena: Swiss stone-throwing competition

3:45 p.m., Schwabenhalle: Deutsche Volkstanz Gruppe

3:45 p.m., Weingarten: D'Holzhacker Baum Schuhplatter Gruppe

5:45 p.m., Weingarten: D'Holzhacker Baum Schuhplatter Gruppe

6:45 p.m., Weingarten: Deutsche Volkstanz Gruppe

6:45 p.m., Schwabenhalle: D'Holzhacker Baum Schuhplatter Gruppe

Music & Bands

Friday

6 p.m. - midnight, Main Stage: Phenix

6 p.m. - midnight, Weingarten: Jay Fox and the Jammin' Germans

6 p.m. - midnight, Schwabenhalle: Alpine Blast Trio

Saturday

2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Main Stage: Enzian

2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Weingarten: Culkar-Golob Band

2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Scwabenhalle: Polish American Concert Band

2p.m. - 6 p.m., Festival grounds: Strolling musicians - Peggy Mueller & Friends; Alpentrio Grubelsdorfer

7 p.m. - midnight, Main Stage: Phenix

7 p.m. - midnight, Weingarten: Jay Fox and the Jammin' Germans

7 p.m. - midnight, Schwabenhalle: Alpine blast Trio

Sunday

Noon- 4 p.m., Main Stage: Culkar-Golob Band

Noon- 4 p.m., Weingarten: Alpine Blast Trio

Noon- 4 p.m., Schwabenhalle: Deutschmeister German Band

1 p.m. - 5 p.m., Festival grounds: Strolling musicians - Peggy Mueller & Friends; Alpentrio Grubelsdorfer

4 p.m. - 8 p.m., Main Stage: Phenix

4 p.m. - 8 p.m., Weingarten: Jay Fox and the Jammin' Germans

RELATED: The Holzhacker Buam Dance Group preps for the German American Festival this weekend

Fun & Games

Fair rides and games for families are present on festival grounds. Per the GAF Facebook page, kids can paint glass coasters from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday to celebrate the International Year of Glass! 

Don't forget das Glockenspiel! See a cuckoo clock come to life with dancers above the main stage. 

Other important info

The G.A.F. listed an FAQ on their Facebook page that visitors should be aware of. 

  • Q: Can I bring my pet dog? 
  • A: No


  • Q: Are their ATMs onsite? 
  • A: No


  • Q: Do you take credit cards? 
  • A: Yes


  • Q: Can I use old food/bev tickets? 
  • A: No


  • Q: Do I have to buy tickets online? 
  • A: No


  • Q: Is there a VIP area this year? 
  • A: No


  • Q: Are there rides for kids this year? 
  • A: Yes


  • Q: Is there a lost and found? 
  • A: Yes


  • Q: Do you refill boots/pitchers? 
  • A: Yes

 

Fun facts!

  • The GAF's mascots, racoons Moritz and Mitzi, were adopted after the city of Oregon, Ohio, where the festival is held, named Rocky the Racoon their city mascot. The city adopted the racoon as their city mascot in 2007 to commemorate Oregon's 50th year as a city. Racoons were common in Oregon during the time of the Great Black Swamp.
  • Sauerkraut does not mean "angry cabbage" as is sometimes circulated online. "Sauer" can mean angry, just as "sour" in English can mean both the flavor and someone's temperament. In this case, "sauer" refers to the sour flavor of fermented cabbage. The German word for cabbage is "Kohl," while "Kraut" means herb. So literally-speaking, Sauerkraut means "sour herb."
  • Although the G.A.F. is not an Oktoberfest celebration, it does resemble it. Oktoberfest is a 17-day festival in Germany that--despite its name--begins in mid-September and ends in the first few days of October. In 2014, Munich's famous Oktoberfest served 1.7 million gallons of beer. 
  • There are two German words for potato: "die Kartoffel," which is the most well-known, and "der Erdapfel," which is more common in southern Germany. Like sauerkraut, this one's literal translation is somewhat misleading: "earth apple."

Recap from G.A.F. 2021

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