OREGON, Ohio — They sang and danced atop the Glockenspiel Friday night at the opening of the 54th annual German-American Festival at Oak Shade Grove in Oregon.

This is the area's oldest and largest ethnic festivals, expected this year to attract upward of 40,000 visitors.

And did somebody mention there's 52 German beers on tap, too?

"It encompasses the family and encompasses the culture. It's just not the German culture but a combination of the German and American. What our country was founded on," according to Wendy Mueller of the festival.

Then there's the food.

Potato pancakes are mashed up with carrots, onions and fried up on a grill. They'll go through two tons of potatoes this weekend.

That works out to 25,000 servings.

54th Annual German-American Festival
Diane Woodring/WTOL

"It's a very nice side dish. Can be heavy dish too. Lots of butter on it. Good for you," said cook Dave Hoffman.

No problem finding the chicken tent. Just follow the smell.

Folks at the festival are expecting to sell 2,900 delicious half chickens.

And it's all about the secret spice and special cooker.

"It was made by Iowa farmers and they build these things in the winter when they're not corn farming," said Rudy Schwarzkopf.




  • Friday: 4 p.m. - 1 a.m.
  • Saturday: noon - 1 a.m.
  • Sunday: noon - 11 p.m.


Oak Shade Grove, 3624 Seaman Road, Oregon, Ohio (just ½ mile east of Coy Road.


  • $10 at the gate
  • $8 online
  • Kids 12 and younger, free
  • To purchase tickets online, click here.
  • To purchase shuttle tickets online, click here.  


For the list of all food and beverages, click here


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There are five types of brats for sale this year and one of them is new.

It's the sizzling hot curry brat bowl.

Served without a bun, curry sauce is slathered on a chopped up brat giving it a pretty good kick.

"I would think so. Smells like it does. Have not tried it. Enough to make your eyes water and sweat," said brat grill master Shelly Steer.

The festival runs through Sunday. Admission is $10 and kids under 12are free.

 As they like to say here "Bring a guest. Come to the fest."

German-American Festival 2019
Diane Woodring/WTOL