A Heartfelt THANK YOU and VIELEN vielen Dank!!!
Well, I’m home again from Germanfest Milwaukee. The bags are unpacked, laundry is sorted and the first loads are in the machine… I’ve started sifting through the film and photos, and slowly am sorting through my notes.
But before I get any deeper into the monumental task of documenting all of this, I wanted to take a moment to express my deepest thanks to the many people who made the weekend so special. From the moment we arrived in Milwaukee, we were made to feel a welcome part of the community. Here we were, virtual strangers, just a voice and photos on the internet, yet so many people took the time to say hello and open their hearts to us. Kevin and I could not be more grateful for the friendship and openness (oh and the drinks). (BTW. Kevin is still recovering from the Obstler…and the beer… oh, and the Feigling…)
The biggest thank you goes out to Dale Blank… our friend, guide, Anvil player, and the main reason we ended up at Germanfest in the first place. If it wasn’t for your (constant) prodding, I don’t know if I would have come out from behind my keyboard. But I’m so glad I did.
And of course, thank you to the rest of the Freistadt Alte Kameraden (especially all the Daves). I loved being your groupie for the weekend! The music you played brought everyone such joy… although I know it was bittersweet time for you all. And thanks to Scott Bell (of the AK AND Austrian Express) who barely had time to come up for air… yet still found time to give me such a kind introduction.
Thank you also to the many people at Germanfest who make this event possible. Can you believe it takes 3000 volunteers to put on this weekend party? 3000 people who give up their time and energy to share German culture with everyone who walks through those gates. A huge thanks to President and Fest Director Eric Radue for taking the time to chat with us about the Fest, and to Tammy Dunn, Director of Advertising & Promotions, for giving us the media pass that allowed us access to Fest participants.
Thanks also to the many people who took the time to say hello or chat with me for a bit. (It’s still surprising to me to be recognized from the page). I loved meeting you all, and hearing your stories. It feels good knowing that the words I send out there have resonate with so many people. And those who I missed… I’m so sorry… I was all over the grounds trying to see everything at once. Next time I know to set meeting points!
For those of you who have never been, and wonder what Germanfest is about….it’s more than just drinking beer. Germanfest is a celebration of German culture, from food, to music… dance to dachshunds…from the honoring the successes and contributions of Germans in America, to sharing the parts of German history that are left out of the history books. Can you believe 47 German Clubs that represent all different parts of German culture (from Pomeranians to Donauschwaben to Bavarians and more!) join together to celebrate and share the best parts of German Culture; and pass it on to the next Generation in a way that is good and positive? It’s an astonishing undertaking!
And of course, there is beer!
Thank you so much … and hey, you are all welcome to visit if you ever make it to California!
With much love from,
Karen (German Girl in America) and Kevin (Tech Guy/ Dave #529)
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