Missoula Cultural Council Germanfest Celebration
Germanfest, a celebration of German culture and Missoula's Sister City relationship with Neckargemünd, Germany occurs every fall at the Caras Park Pavilion. Admission is free. The event is sponsored by the Missoula Cultural Council.
Music and Dancing
Oom-pah music and folk dancing is led by The Bavarian Echoes who play traditional polkas, waltzes, and "the chicken dance." Young or old, there's something about the traditional German music that gets everyone dancing at Germanfest.
German Food and Beer
Germanfest gets underway officially when the traditional keg of beer is tapped by Jurgen Knoeller, owner of Missoula's Bayern Brewery. The Shack Restaurant provides plenty of bratwurst, sauerkraut and potato salad, and there’s cheesecake for dessert!
Kids' Activities, an Information Booth with photos and books about Neckargemünd, and a Raffle of many fabulous prizes round out the festivities at Germanfest.
On Sunday, September 9th, Missoula celebrated the 13th annual Germanfest in Caras Park. Germanfest 2007 was the largest ever, with a crowd estimated at over 1,000 people in attendance on a beautiful afternoon in downtown Missoula.
The Bavarian Echoes kept the energy high and entertained the crowd with folk songs and dancing. The Shack Restaurant provided delicious brats, sauerkraut and potato salad, Jurgen Knoeller from Bayern Brewing was on hand to tap the first Oktoberfest of the season, and Uncle Bill sold his special bratwurst and mustard.
Burgermeister, John Engen, led the raffle drawing and gave away, among other things, two Griz football tickets, many gift certificates from local merchants, and special commemorative items from Neckargemünd. As in past years, visiting German students were on hand for the festivities.
Officials from Missoula and Neckargemünd have begun planning the 15th Anniversary of the sister-city partnership, to take place in 2008.
This celebration will include a visit by a delegation from Neckargemünd in August, preceded by a delegation from Missoula to Neckargemünd sometime in July. To sign up for this trip, or for more information about hosting the German delegation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Germanfest has grown rapidly in the past few years, and has become one of the most popular early fall celebrations in Missoula.
Thanks again to the loyal folks who make up the planning committee, to all of our wonderful volunteers, and to the many who partook in the festivities for making this year’s Germanfest such a success!
Photos by Neil Chaput