German Festival Celebrates 20 Years
Gather your lederhosen, it’s the German's turn to celebrate their heritage.
“Eins, zwei, drei, g’suff!”
After the cheer, the annual German festival kicked off in Erie.
"Usually when we get to making the toast, I start crying, I can't talk,” says event creator, Beverly Pochatko.
However, Beverly decided it was a time to celebrate.
"This year, I made up my mind, you know, this is the most exciting thing, because we would have never had imagined 20 years ago we would be here,” says Beverly.
Back in 1996, Beverly put together the first-ever German festival in Erie.
"It grew from a smaller tent, that was maybe half this size, that we have here,” says emcee, Fred Huttel.
As the festival grew, so did the traditions. Beverly says it’s one of the most authentic festivals around.
"I think it's the fact that we place a lot of value on family. And we place a lot even on our vendors. If you go through anything in the market spot, it's all from Germany,” says Beverly.
Between the music, the shopping, and of course, the beer, everything comes full circle at the German festival.
"Definitely it's the music, and with that it connects with the people drinking the beer, and having the great food to go with it ... There’s so many things that all will connect, as you start with the music, it all connects with everything,” says Fred.
The connection carries over to DANK, where all the proceeds go.
"It's the acronym for the German American National Congress. We're a chapter. It's all about promoting the German heritage, the culture, saving the music,” says Beverly.
After 20 years, there only one thing left to say at the German festival, “Prost.”
The festival goes on until 8 p.m. Saturday, at Saint Nick’s Grove on Old French Road. Then starts back up at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. Admission is $5.