Early September, the German Chicagoans are coming to Lincoln Square to celebrate their community once again, as they have done for more than 100 years, and we are all invited for German themed dancing, singing, drinks and food.
Germans are, historically, one of Chicago’s most prominent ethnic groups
Chicago is an American city with a lot more attractions to offer than most. According to your budget, and also likes and dislikes, there are a number of things you can do in Chicago, and going to the ethnic festivals should be added to that list.
And since the Germans are, historically, one of USA’s prominent ethnic populations, being very well represented in Chicago, the fact the city had enjoyed a special German celebration for over 100 years should not come as a surprise. In the 2000 U.S. Census, 15.8% of people in the Chicago area had German ancestry, and those of German ancestry were the largest ethnic group in 80% of Chicago’s suburbs. As of the year 1930, those of German ancestry were the largest European ethnic group in Chicago. Although that number has decreased to 6%, people with German ethnic heritage still make up a fairly important part of the Grand Chicago Area’s population. After establishing themselves as one of the most significant ethnic groups in the region, the Germans associated to help community members and celebrating together obviously became part of their efforts to keep their specific culture alive. And what else could be better used for this purpose than food, drinks and merriment?
Over 100 years of fun, food, drinks in our own Oktoberfest
The German-American Fest was established in 1920 by the member clubs of the United German-American Societies of Greater Chicago, being a celebration associated with Oktoberfest, back in the homeland. The Chicago German-American Oktoberfest has become so loved and appreciated over time, that our own German celebration has been nominated in the USA Today 2023 10 Best Readers’ Choice travel awards! Their expert panel selected Chicago German-American Oktoberfest as a contender for Best Oktoberfest. You can vote for Chicago today and every day through Sept. 4th,just remember to only do it once a day. Use the link below to make sure the Chicago Oktoberfest gets elected: https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-oktoberfest-2023/.
Don’t miss this year’s celebrations
This year, the free three-day festival begins Friday, Sept. 8, and runs until Sunday, Sept. 10, with festival hours being 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. Friday, 12 p.m. – 11 p.m. Saturday, and 12 p.m. – 10 p.m. Sunday.
Festival activities can be found near Lincoln, Leland and Western Avenues, where German and American food and drinks — including the beloved bratwursts, thüringers, schnitzels and pretzels — will be served. The live entertainment won’t be missing of course, the Phenix Band, Paloma, The Tuesdays being only a few of the names which will help visitors celebrate the traditional German Oktoberfest.
Special events include the festival’s opening ceremony, which begins at 8 p.m. Friday, and the Von Steuben Parade, planned to start at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The parade will be progressing north on Lincoln Avenue from Irving Park, then to Wilson, turning west to Western Avenue, where parade participants will pass the viewing stand at Leland and Western. This year, according to the event’s facebook page, the Queen of the Von Steuben Parade is Karina Thut.
Seeing the beautiful ambassador of Chicago’s German heritage, as well as all of the participants in the parade, all decked up in their traditional costumes, and of course eating delicious food and saying “Prost!” with some cold beers, while listening and dancing to some wonderful music, are as many reasons to go to Lincoln Square starting September 8th. And if you miss it, no worries! We have plenty of options for you to at least taste the beer. Whether you want to explore the downtown beer scene or venture out to the suburbs, you’re sure to find an exciting range of more than 200 Chicago beer makers, from large to small. So, if you are otherwise engaged for the Chicago Oktoberfest, we hand-picked the best Chicago breweries for you to visit.
About the German Day Association
The German Day Association was founded in 1920 by dedicated Germans wishing to promote the usage and continuance of the German language, customs and songs in Chicago. At that time the Association became the umbrella organization for all of the German Organizations under the name of the United German American Societies of Greater Chicago. The association is located in German Haus, 6311 W. Gross Point Rd.,Niles, IL 60714.
The German Day Association is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization. In addition to the 3-day German-American Day, Oktoberfest and Steuben Parade, the Association sponsors the German Unity Day Commemoration in the Fall at St. Benedict Church in Chicago. All German singing societies perform, many wearing the costumes of their native communities. The event opens up with the presentation of the flags of the member societies. Admission is free.
The German-American Day is an annual celebration of German heritage. All groups involved have a chance to show their part in the upkeep of our traditions. The festival helps fund the continued education of the youth and culture, and the community continues to work hard to keep such traditions alive. The location of the German-American Day celebration has changed several times over the years, from Riverview Park, Saint Paul Woods, Navy Pier, Schwaben Center, and Grant Park to Lincoln Square for the last 25 years.