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51st Annual German-American Festival

Please refer to the GAF Marketing Page for the most current Festival Information

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   Festival Information:    
 August 26, 2016 - 6:00 PM to 1:00 AM
 Opening Ceremonies  8:00 PM
  in the Fest Zelt
  August 27, 2016 - 2:00 PM to 1:00 AM
  August 28, 2016 - 12:00 Noon to 11:00 PM
 German Church Service Starts at 10:30 a.m.

Future Festival Dates:
51st - 8/26, 27 & 28, 2016, 52nd - 8/25, 26 & 27, 2017, 53rd - 8/24, 25 & 26, 2018
54th - 8/23, 24 & 25, 2019, 55th - 8/28, 29 & 30, 2020

  All alcohol sales end at Midnight Friday and Saturday. Liquor available on Sunday

Download: Copy of the Festival Information Sheet - updated 8-7-2015


WHAT: The 51st German-American Festival, the Toledo area’s Oldest, Largest and Greatest Ethnic Festival with authentic German Food, Beer, and Entertainment. Festival organizers expect upward from 30,000 paid attendees.

The Festival is operated by the G.A.F. Society, 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. 

WHY: The purpose of the German-American Festival is to promote and enhance the German and Swiss cultures, as well as generate revenue to support the German and Swiss cultural center in Oregon and a wide variety of scholarship, athletic and other philanthropic programs in the Toledo area.

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

WHEN: Friday, August 26, 2016:     6:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. (Parade and Opening Ceremonies begin at 8:00 p.m.)
Saturday, August 27, 2016: 2:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
              Sunday, August 28, 2016
:  12:00 Noon – 11:00 p.m. with a German Language worship service at 10:30 a.m.

(Alcohol sales cease at 12:00 midnight on Friday and Saturday nights.  Beer, Wine and Liquor available on Sunday)

ADMISSION: General admission: $8.00 per person. Children 12 years of age and under admitted at no charge all weekend when accompanied by a parent or guardian.

$7.00 Discount Advance Purchase Admission Tickets & $6.00 GAF Shuttle Tickets are available for online purchase at www.germanamericanfestival.net or www.gafsociety.org/fest.htm.  Save time and avoid lines at the entrance gates, buy tickets in advance and online, print at home and save! Two day ($10) and three day ($15) admission passes available only online.   

$6.00 Discount Advance Purchase Admission Tickets & $7.00 GAF Shuttle Tickets are also available at Bar 145, 5305 Monroe St.; Berger’s Olde Tyme, 1742 W. Laskey; Shawn’s Irish Tavern, 4400 Heatherdowns, 7436 W. Bancroft St. and 105 S.  Third St. in Waterville; Manhattan’s Restaurant, 1516 Adams St., The Attic on Adams, 1701 Adams St., Wesley’s Bar & Grill, 1201 Adams St. and the Ottawa Tavern, 1817 Adams St. in the Toledo Uptown area; Ye Olde Cock n’ Bull Tavern, 9 N. Huron St. in Downtown; Rocky’s Bar, 4020 Secor Rd.; Kilgus Choice Meats, 3346 W. Laskey Rd.; Ventura’s Original Mexican Cantina, 7742 W. Bancroft St.; Anchor Inn, 4950 Suder Ave. and Mayfly Tavern, 4532 N. Summit St. in Point Place; Belle Wine & Martini Lounge, 3145 Hollister Ln. in Levis Commons, in Perrysburg and Icons Eatery and Entertainment, 3150 Navarre Ave. in Oregon and Tank’s Meats, 3355 Ohio 51 in Elmore; Pub 51, 5110 Woodville Rd. in Northwood.

Special Sunday Discounts:
Active military, police, fire, or EMS personnel will be admitted at no charge (with proof of employment) on Sunday.                          
Senior citizens’ with Golden Buckeye card or equivalent will be admitted for $1 discount from general admission on Sunday at the gate.

GAF SHUTTLE: $7.00 GAF Shuttle ticket purchase, as well as free parking and shuttle pick-up and drop-off locations at eight Toledo-area locations.  Shuttle tickets also available at Shawn’s Irish Tavern, 4400 Heatherdowns, 7436 W. Bancroft St. and 105 S. Third St. in Waterville; Manhattan’s Restaurant, 1516 Adams St., Wesley’s Bar & Grill, 1201 Adams St. and the Ottawa Tavern, 1817 Adams St. in the Toledo Uptown area; Rocky’s Bar, 4020 Secor Rd.; Kilgus Choice Meats, 3346 W. Laskey Rd.; Tank’s Meats, 3355 Ohio 51 in Elmore; Ventura’s Mexican Cantina, 7742 W. Bancroft St.; and Icons Eatery and Entertainment, 3150 Navarre Ave. in Oregon and Pub 51, 5110 Woodville Rd. in Northwood.  Icons and Pub 51 provide a complimentary shuttle service.  Buy shuttle tickets online and print at home at www.germanamericanfestival.net or www.gafsociety.org/fest.htm. 

GAF Shuttle ticket locations & departure locations:
o   Bar 145, 5305 Monroe St. (Use Hobby Lobby lot for parking)
o   Berger’s Olde Tyme, 1742 W. Laskey Rd.
Due to Key St. overpass construction, there will be no parking at the Lucas County Recreation Center, 2901 Key St. in Maumee; Parking at 4400 Heatherdowns at Key St.
Mayfly Tavern, 4532 N. Summit St. in Point Placeo   Anchor Inn, 4950 Suder Ave. in Point Place
The Attic on Adams, 1701 Adams St. in Toledo Uptown
Ye Olde Cock n’ Bull Tavern, 9 N Huron St. in Downtown Toledo
o   Social Gastropub, 25818 North Dixie Hwy. across from Levis Commons, in Perrysburg
J&R Contracting Plaza (formerly Kroger), 1300 Michigan Ave. in Waterville; Friday – 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p:m pickups; Saturday – 4:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. pickups
o   Icons Eatery and Entertainment, 3150 Navarre Ave. in Oregon provides a complimentary shuttle service on Friday – 6:00 p.m. to close; Saturday – 2:00 p.m. to close; & Sunday – noon to close.
o   Pub 51, 5110 Woodville Rd. in Northwood provides a complimentary shuttle service.

GAF Shuttle Departure Times:

o   Friday, August 26 – 6:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
o   Saturday, August 27 – 4:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
o   Last shuttle departs from departure locations to Festival Grounds at 10:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 
o   Last GAF shuttle departs from Festival Grounds at 1:00 a.m.
o   Special Sunday Shuttle: Sunday, August 28 – 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.


Continuous live music at 3 stages from local Germanic and ethnic bands, our strolling button box artist from Germantown, Wisc. and “The Brothers Grimm” strolling musicians from the Detroit area.  Our featured bands are the Austrian Express from Milwaukee, Wisc. and Phenix from Chicago, Ill..

Large 56’ by 40’ wooden dance floor (in the Fest Zelt – the main tent: a 100 foot by 265 foot clear span tent with no poles!  Made in Germany, just like at the Oktoberfest!) for dancing enjoyment, plus other dance floors on the Festival grounds.

Over 70 acres of free, lighted parking with people movers to deliver you to the main entrance gate on Seaman Street.  Parking areas can be entered from Starr Avenue, Corduroy Road or Seaman Street.  People movers operate continuously in a 27 acre parking area accessible from Seaman Road or Corduroy Road.  Other entrance gates are accessible from Starr or Seaman lots.  Rain or shine parking at Starr Elementary School, Fassett Middle School and Clay High School (East lot) lots with complimentary shuttle bus service between these lots and the Festival grounds.  Shuttles operate continuously during Festival hours.

The Festival is spread over 10 wooded acres providing an authentic German atmosphere.

Handicapped parking available from Seaman Road.  Free handicapped shuttle on Festival grounds.  Festival grounds are handicapped accessible including lawn areas, gravel and asphalt.

Shuttle bus service from nine Toledo-area parking lots deliver you right to the gate and safely return you to your car.  Complimentary shuttle service is available from two local taverns.

Taxi Cab stand In the interest of public safety, Black & White Cab and the German-American Festival are teaming up!  Show proof that you’ve taken a Black & White Cab to one of the Festival’s many shuttle locations or the Festival site and you’ll receive $5.00 worth of food or beverages tickets.  Proof of purchase is required so please bring your receipt (one receipt per cab).  Get your tickets at the Guest Services tent!  Also, there is now a Taxi area: use the East gate, by the bus pickup and you can access Black & White Cabs!

  Opening ceremony with parade featuring colorful costumes and pageantry through the Festival grounds.  Special feature this year: many of the people who were organizers and chairpeople through the last 50 Festivals!

  How fast can you eat soft, baked pretzels? Join the Brezelessen (pretzel eating) competition! In the Hofbräuhalle on Saturday at 9:00 p.m.

The goal is simple: Lift and hold a 1 liter stein, filled with beer, straight out with your arm level to the ground!  “Masskrugstemmen,” which translates loosely to the lifting of a liter mug of beer, is a well-known and a competitive Bavarian sport. The “Masskrug,” a 1 Liter Stein is held with one arm, completely stretched out and parallel to the floor!   Sound easy?  The current U.S. record is 14 minutes, 7 seconds! Contest starts at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. 

Hummel Look-Alike Contest is a contest for all children between the ages of 2-10 by pre-application. The children select a M.I. Hummel figurine to dress like and then pose for a panel of judges. First, second, and third place prizes will be awarded in each age category. All children will receive awards for participating as well as a wrist band for rides. The contest is held on Sunday afternoon and is the longest running contest of its kind in the United States. Applications are available on the GAF Festival Website: http://www.gafsociety.org/Childrens_Activities.htm. All applications must be received no later than August 7, 2016. 

  Schwabenhalle Outdoor Pavilion renamed the Hofbräuhalle features rain or shine entertainment throughout the day and evening. 

Old World-style outdoor Bier & Wein Garten under the trees will feature large umbrella tables.  A wooden dance floor with continuous German polkas and waltzes featured there.  Watch for special performances by our folklore dance groups – the Deutsche Bayerische Folktanz Gruppe, the Toledo Holzhacker Buam Schuhplattlergruppe and the Bavarian Sports Club D’ Holzhacker Buam Schuhplattler Gruppe– as well as other folklore dance groups from the Midwest. 

Designated Driver Program the Guest Services Booth will again have coupons which can be purchase by “Designated Drivers” to be used for three discounted soft drinks to enjoy while visiting the Festival. The cost is $3.00 which will give the “Designated Driver” 3 coupons for a 20 oz. soft drink of your choice at any Pop booth on the grounds.  Must be age 21 and over.

Raffle – A super 50/50 raffle with prizes will be awarded each evening and final drawing on Sunday evening at 7:00 p.m.  Winners need not be present. Tickets are 6 for $5.

Amusement rides include rides such as: Scooter(bumper cars), Paratrooper, Sizzler, Funhouse, Super slide, Merry-go-round, Barrels of fun, Cartoon train, Mini-enterprise, Tilt-a-whirl, Fire trucks, Whale ride, and Monkey bounce for children and the young at heart all weekend.  All Day Ride pass and discounted special pricing. 

Face painting and clowns – Saturday and Sunday

  Swiss Steinstossen – Centuries old authentic Swiss stone throwing contest.  In this competition, men and women will throw large stones (138 pounds and 75 pounds, respectively) in a designated area and the winner will be the one throwing his or her stone the longest distance.  Prizes will be awarded on both categories.  Entry in this event is open to the public.  (The Ohio women’s record was set right here at the 2007 German-American Festival!)  No pre-entry required.  Contests start at 3:00 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

Soccer game and matches on Saturday.

  Glockenspiel – While it’s not exactly like the famous Glockenspiel in Munich, Germany, come and enjoy a live version – a popular attraction!  Performance on the hour above the Wein Bar. 

  German-language Worship Service – Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. with special music by our own Teutonia Männerchor & Damenchor and Toledo Swiss Singers.  Free admission to Festival after the Service.

  Mitzi’s Hütte is the place to get your festival souvenirs and collectible items! This year you will find one of a kind shirts for all ages that celebrate the GAF Festival as well as various festival themed drinkware including shot, beer, and wine glasses! In addition, there will be unique gift items and fun bags for the kids!! Be sure to stop by Mitzi's Hütte and see all the fun festival gear!! 

Trachtenzelt – features German wearables and souvenirs by Bavarian Specialties of Frankenmuth, Mich. 

Credit Cards – credit/debit cards can be used throughout the Festival grounds. 

  ATM – located at the Guest Services Tent. 

Vienna Café – enjoy Kuchen, Strudels, cookies, cakes, and a variety of other homemade pastries.  New for our 50th Festival: a chocolate bar that is made in Germany! This is a very pleasant and relaxing place to sit down at a cozy table to enjoy your favorite dessert and coffee.  Returning in 2015: German Golden Delicious Kuchen Baking Contest in honor of the 50th Festival on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.  Submit entry to the Sidewalk Café (along with the recipe) on the day of the event!

  Lebkuchenherz – our own homemade, hand decorated gingerbread hearts – just like at the Oktoberfest in Munich 

Swiss Essen Haus – Indoor/outdoor Swiss Bäckerei featuring many types of European-style and imported cheeses, breads, and meats.  Sausages, sandwiches and roast pork dinners are made to order.  How fast can you eat 8 ounces of Swiss Cheese? Join the competition on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in the Hofbräuhalle!

Maxi-Cooker – in order to ensure that each of the thousands of chickens served at the German-American Festival is perfectly cooked, we have a chicken cooker with state of the art controls. 

Potato Pancakes – enjoy hand made potato pancakes made the old German way. 

Schnitzel Sandwiches – masterfully made in front of you, served on a Kaiser roll.

And plenty of other food items – smoked ham shanks, Bratwurst, jalapeño Wurst, smoked Wurst, Brat patty sandwiches, pretzels, funnel cakes, Sauerkraut, cheddar Wurst, handmade potato salad, Sauerkraut balls, hand cut Pommes Frites, ice cream, cream puffs, pickles, landjäger, sweet corn and freshly popped popcorn! 

 Featured Beers Fifty beers for fifty years! Our light beer: Labatt Blue Light and from Germany our featured beers: Warsteiner Premium Verum, Warsteiner Premium Dunkel (Dark), Warsteiner Oktoberfest, König Ludwig Weissbier Hell, Hofbräu Dunkel, Hofbräu Original, Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier, and Hofbräu Hefeweizen.  Our other great imported beers are: Augustiner Maximator Doppelbock (Dark), Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen, Aecht Schlenkerla Eiche Doppelbock, Ayinger Brauweisse, Ayinger Jahrhundert Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock, Ayinger Oktoberfest Bier, Ayinger Weizenbock, Ayinger Alt Dunkel (Dark), Berliner Weisse 1809, Bitburger, Hacker-Pschorr München, Hacker-Pschorr Weisse, Julius Echter Hefe Weiss, Julius Echter Dunkel Weiss, Grodziskie Grätzer Smoked Wheat, Labatt Light Lime, Leipziger Gose, Paulaner Lager, Paulaner Oktoberfest, Paulaner Hefe-Weissbier, Paulaner Salvator, Erdinger Dunkel,    Erdinger Hefe, Radeberger Pils, Reissdorf Kolsch, Schneider Aventinus Eisbock, George Schneider’s Wiesen Edel Weisse (an organic Bier), Schneider Unser Aventinus, Schneider Weisse, Tucher Kristallweizen, Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier, Weihenstephaner Oktoberfest, Weihenstephaner Korbinian Doppelbock, Weihenstephaner Kristall Weiss and Schöfferhofer Grapefruit served in the German Bier Garten and throughout the Festival!  We proudly feature one of the largest collections of German beers at any Festival (more than the famed Oktoberfest in Germany!)!  Returning in 2015 is the German Bier Tour – obtain a Bier Tour card, have your card stamped seven times and receive a Bier Glas! New for 2015 – Engelszell Gregorious, Monchshof Schwarzbier, Freigeist Ottekolong Unfiltered Kolsch, Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest Beer Camp (collaboration with Brauhaus Riegele)

Our featured cocktails: Imagine a drink that looks like a German flag!  So schmeckt Deutschland – a taste of Germany And our signature drinks, the German Chocolate Cupcake!  It tastes just like everyones’ favorite: German’s™ Chocolate Cake – oh so tasty! And the Gummi Bear Drink returns – it's fruity tasting and easy going down and people love the Gummi Bears at the bottom.

Our wine list includes: Schlink Haus Auslese, Kabinett, Dornfelder, Riesling QbA and Spätlese, Schmitt Sohne Piesporter; and Sutter Home Chardonnay and Moscato.  Returning in 2015: Der deutsche Wein-Flug – sample six great German wine varieties to help you find the one you enjoy the most (Saturday & Sunday only)!

  Our progressive adult beverages: Mike’s Hard Lemonade,  Mike's Hard Black Cherry Lemonade and Angry Orchard Hard Cider

Our soft drink specialties: We proudly serve Pepsi products including: Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist, Diet Sierra Mist, Ginger Ale, Brisk Tea/Lemon, Brisk Lemon-Aid, Life Water - Assorted Flavors, Frappacino - French Vanilla & Mocha and Aquafina Water!

  Give Trash the Boot! Returning in 2015! Plastic boot shaped souvenirs for you to take home.  Drinking from a boot or Stiefel is a long-time German tradition.  Made popular in the film „Beerfest!“  New in 2015 – a koozie to fit the boot!

  Speaking of recycling:  Each of the last 6 years, our Festival has attempted to keep more and more waste out of the landfills; patrons are reminded to place recyclables in the appropriate containers which are present on the Festival Grounds.  In the more recent years, we are doing our best to compost more and more items: potatoes peelings, corn husks, etc., each year adding additional items....


•  50 years of Festivals!

Opening ceremony with the visual attention of the opening parade featuring colorful costumes and pageantry.

•  The background and purpose of the seven German-speaking societies sponsoring the Festival.

•  How the German-American Festival came to be the oldest and largest ethnic festival in the Toledo-area, as well as one of the largest in this part of the United States.

The Festival is regularly voted as the Best Festival in the Toledo area by the readers of the Toledo City Paper. 17 out of last 18 years.

Winner of the 2011 Prism Award of the Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber of Commerce

Regularly named in blogs such as: 50 Things To Do With Kids in Toledo, Ohio

•  How a child prepares for the Hummel contest.

Volume of food and beverages served at past Festivals (see statistics on next page).  Interviews with cooks in the Festival Kitchen.

•   What it means to volunteer at the Festival.

•  Tons of authentic German potato salad being made by volunteers – every ounce is peeled & cut by hand!

•  Erecting the main tent

•  Soccer Games.

Website & social media: www.gafsociety.org/fest.htm


 Media contact: Timothy Pecsenye, Festival Chairman
(419) 356-9790 – Media use only, please
                               (419) 474-7604



6,000 ears of sweet corn

3,350 chicken halves

300 gallons of Sauerkraut

4,800 dinner rolls

10,500 hot dog and sausage buns

2 tons of handmade German potato salad

660 smoked “Old World” style Frankfurters

9,500 various Bratwurst

500 Bratwurst patties

5,000 smoked sausages

500 Käsewurst

1,500 smoked pork shanks

500 servings of Leberkäs (veal loaf)

1,900 servings of Schnitzel for sandwiches

5,000 pairs of Landjäger

6,000 regular pretzels

960 specialty pretzels

18 gallons of cheese for pretzels

1,500 whole kosher pickles

750 pounds of Sauerkraut balls
                  50,0000 hand-made potato pancakes (over 1-1/2 tons of potatoes)

1,100 kegs of light and imported beers

180 cases of German beers

250 cases of progressive adult beverages

50 cases of German wines

44 cases liqueurs and spirits

7,400 bottles of soda pop

4,000 bottles of water

330 brownies

Over 450 slices of hand made cakes

230 slices of miscellaneous cakes

420 apple fritters

180 apple dumplings

200 Lebkuchen (gingerbread) hand decorated hearts

600 Strudels

250 loaves of apple fritter bread & coffee cakes

2,240 hand made cookies

425 loaves of bread (sold as “to go”)

Over 650 pounds of assorted cheeses

700 pounds of assorted deli meats

Over 6,000 scoops of ice cream

720 cream puffs

5,000 funnel cakes

1,700 servings of candied, roasted almonds

250 pounds of popcorn

2 tons of hand-cut Pommes Frites – French Fries

Over 17 tons of ice

Over 1,200 cups of coffee

Websites:             www.gafsociety.org/fest.htm


Media contact:     Timothy Pecsenye, Festival Chairman
                            (419) 356-9790 – Media use only, please

                            (419) 474-7604   



GAF Social Network Festival Links:
GAF Facebook Link:www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=9032664589
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