Mark your Calendar for the next Germanfest:
August 22-24-25, 2013
Gestern, Heute, und Morgen
-Yesterday , Today & Tomorrow
The City of West Bend has a strong German heritage. If you live in the community, you will experience the remnants of those original German immigrants' legacy of hard work, civic involvement, and a deep appreciation of family, fun, music, and even beer!
Germanfest began on August 30, 1986 when a local businessman, Herb Tennies, and his family along with a handful of neighboring shop owners cordoned off a portion of Main Street in downtown West Bend. It was a sunny afternoon and they welcomed neighbors and friends to drink beer and kick up their heels and dance in the street.
That simple four-hour, one-day festival has grown into a four day celebration complete with food, beverages, music, Sheepshead tournament, pancake breakfast, fabulous desserts, children's activities and so much more. Thousands of people annually gather to raise a stein and celebrate German heritage, culture and Festlichkeit!
While proud of its past, the city also maintains present day ties to Germany through a strong connection to its sister city, Heppenheim, located in the state of Hessen. Beginning in 1992 with a sister school relationship, the two cities became official sister cities in 1994. Since then the West Bend High Schools have exchanged students with the Starkenburg Gymnasium on a yearly basis. An adult delegation also makes regular trips back and forth. Countless West Bend Families have experienced the Germany of today through the benefit of this partnership Germanfest continues to celebrate that strong tie.
Germanfest is a community celebration of where we've come from, but also where we are headed. So as the community expands and diversifies so will Germanfest. Just like today's Germany, Germanfest welcomes the presence of international cultures. You will find them represented more and more, in the food, the fun and the music. In the future, watch for new ways that you can get involved and contribute to the FESTLICHKEIT!!