By Jacob Clemens
For the Sidney Daily News
FORT LORAMIE – The Fort Loramie German Heritage Days will return this year with another batch of new festivities to celebrate the community’s deutschen wurzeln (German roots!).
Now in its 19th edition, Lynn Gusching, general manager at Crown Equipment Corporation and organizer for the event, describes the festival as a celebration of “the heritage of our German ancestors.” She says, “the foods, music and feeling of fellowship” make the whole weekend special for the community.
The event will take place on Friday the 22nd and Saturday the 23rd. The festivities will begin that Friday at 4 p.m., when food and beer stands open to the public.
Friday will boast an array of live musical performances, starting with DJ Obie at 4 p.m. Later on at 5 p.m., Frank Svet’s Munich Express brings their authentic alpine tunes to the Main Stage until 8 p.m. Celina native Jason Grieshop will likely perform his new album “Briarwood” from 6-9 p.m. at the gazebo. Ending the night will be Freelance band from 9:00 p.m. until midnight on the Main Stage.
One of the newest events this year is the Queen of Hearts Drawing at 8 p.m., described as a “game of chance that draws a crowd.” Tickets for the event can be bought on Friday night until 9 p.m. Before that, attendees can participate in Keg Tapping at 6 p.m., as well as flaunt their talents with a game of cornhole, shuffleboard, or even giant Jenga until midnight.
Even the pickiest eater won’t have trouble finding grub this year. Homemade specialties include German potato salad, chocolate cake, and soup, as well as Jaeger Schnitzel with a pretzel bun! Other options that will be available include brats, burgers, authentic sauerkraut, and caramel apple strudel.
This year’s extensive list of brews on tap include: High Noon, Hofbrau Original, Hofbrau Oktoberfest, Paulaner Hefe, Paulaner Lager, Warsteiner Dunkel, Lost Coast Tangerine, Einstein 1885 Oktoberfest, Hilda Hefeweizen, Willy Goat Bock, Patent Pils, Miller Lite, and Leinenkugel Oktoberfest. Beer Flights will be available from 4-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Saturday will begin with the Car Show at 10 a.m. Those interested will register in person an hour prior at 9 a.m. Food and Beer stands will open at 10 a.m. as well.
At noon, learn about the local culture that’s being celebrated when the Fort Loramie Historical Museum opens with an exhibit from Greg Shipley, showcasing “local historic artifacts.” Traditional Stein Hoisting will be performed at 8 p.m.
Attendees can witness a bit of current history at 10 a.m. when Fort Loramie is honored as the 20th Buckeye Trail Town in Ohio. Hay wagons will transport festivalgoers out into the countryside to walk a bit of the trail back into town. Make sure to wear your running shoes!
A couple of new events will debut on Saturday. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., take part in a quaint game of Schnitzelbank Bingo. Or, if something with a little higher stake suits you better, make your way over to the returning Beer Olympics from 3 to 5 p.m., where teams of four will participate in various competitions such as cornhole, stein relay, and beer pong. Registration day-of will begin at 2 p.m.
Of course, no weekend festival in Ohio can forget about the Buckeyes. Make sure to stick around until 7 p.m. when the Ohio State – Notre Dame game will be shown for everyone to cheer. O-H…
There’s even more live music on Saturday than the night before. Kicking off the day, Jim McGowan’s Irish folk & rock will entertain fans at the gazebo from 1-3 p.m. Frank Svet’s Munich Express returns for an encore on the Main Stage from 4-8 p.m. Adam “Bubs” Ranly will perform at the gazebo from 5-8 p.m. To finish the night off, Dayton-based acoustic band Fries Band takes the Main Stage from 9 p.m. until midnight.
At midnight Sunday morning, the 19th annual Fort Loramie German Heritage Days celebration will come to an end. Gusching said all proceeds from the event will be put into “a fund for the improvement of the community,” as well as to finance plans for landscape improvement downtown.