Toledo’s German American Festival

Toledo’s German American Festival will be taking place in Oregon Ohio starting today at 5 p.m.

The festival, which originated in Raceway Park in Toledo, has been put on every year since 1965. It was then moved to the Maumee recreational center and in 1982 it found its home in Oregon.

Dan Ash, festival chairman, has been working at the festival for over 41 years and says that the event started as a German picnic by a variety of different ethnic groups.

“There were three ethnic groups in town: Swiss, Bavarian, and German, and they decided they wanted to have a unified German picnic, and it was agreed that they would do that,” Ash said. “The three groups got together and had the picnic in 1965 and it was such a success that the following year they changed it to the German American Festival Society.”

The festival will feature all sorts of events including fussball, target shooting, wood carving, and plenty of ethnic food and live music.

Many of the live acts include an orchestra band from Cleveland, Jay Fox, Almdudler, The Phenix, Spass, as well as many others, and all of the ethnic food is made fresh according to Ash.

“All of our foods are made from scratch,” he said. “We do not have any venders and our food is made from old European recipes.”

There will be a variety of food including on spot made potato salad, sauerkraut, potato pancakes, roasted chicken, sausage, pig hock smoked and an assortment of cheeses.

Sunday is family day and children 15 and younger accompanied by parents are admitted for free. There will also be free rides for small children. There is free parking all weekend as well.

Also taking place at the festival on Sunday is the Amber alert program which, according to Ash, is a free program where parents can have their children photographed, documented and finger printed.

Ash says that the festival is a lot of fun and will keep people entertained.

“This is one of the largest and oldest pure ethnic festivals in the northwestern part of the United States,” he said. “People can come out and have a good time and not have to worry about any problems, we have excellent security.”

“We hope to accomplish to show that we have good will and companionship for our neighbors,” Ash said.

Jan Livingston, chairman of the workers food and secretary of the festival, says that this festival is supposed to bring people closer to each other.

“We are just trying to bring people together and we want people to see friends that they haven’t seen in a while and just see how everyone can get along,” Livingston said.

Livingston has been involved with the festival for about 15 years and is looking forward to this weekend.

“I’m here ten days before the festival and three days after the festival feeding all of the workers,” she said. “During the festival itself I work in the food booths or in one of the bars, anything I can do to help.”

The festival is located at 3624 Seaman Road with an entrance fee of five dollars. The hours range from Friday 5 p.m. to 12 a.m., Saturday 2 p.m. to 12 a.m. and Sunday noon to 8 p.m.