From late September to the end of October, German culture and contributions are embraced and celebrated throughout the world, especially in areas where lasting cultural influences from Germany are most prevalent.
Some of these include German-American Day (October 6) and Reformation Day (October 31), which celebrates the posting of the 95 Theses nearly 500 years ago in 1517. While these events may be important to some people, the most widely known celebration of German culture is Oktoberfest. During the festival, a wide variety of German food is served, including latkes, pretzels, sausage, dumplings and beer. Originally a 16-day festival in Bavaria, Oktoberfest has blossomed into an international celebration of all things German. In Munich, the festival starts in late September and continues into the first part of October, but in areas of German immigration, Oktoberfest occurs at various times. Many towns have single-day celebrations, and some areas merge it with other German events and call it Germanfest. While there is nothing like the original Oktoberfest in Bavaria, we can enjoy a local taste of the experience here in our own communities. Many towns enjoy one night only German festivals and many local businesses often have Oktoberfest themed celebrations throughout the month. I encourage you to check out the town festivals dotting the landscape of Michiana near you and to celebrate all things German. Here is a partial list of Oktoberfest and other festivals of note to those interested in international culture.
41st Annual Seymour Oktoberfest in Jackson County (October 2-6) www.seymouroktoberfest.com/
46th Annual Feast of the Hunter’s Moon Festival in Tippecanoe County (October 3-6). This is a recreation of the annual fall gathering of the French and Native Americans that took place at Fort Ouiatenon, a fur-trading outpost in the mid-1700s. www.tcha.mus.in.us/feast.htm
Indiana Short Film Festival at the Royal Theatre in Danville (October 11-15). 64 national and international short films. www.inshortfilmfest.com/
4th Annual Scottish Highland Games and Festival at German Park. (October 12) www.indyscotgamesandfest.com/
Oktoberfest on the Farm at Traders Point Creamery. (October 12) www.traderspointcreamery.com/
5th Annual Original and Fabulous Germanfest at the Athenaeum. (October 12) www.bit.ly/AIgermanfest
22nd Annual Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis (October 17-26). Ten-day film festival and associated activities featuring independent, international, and enlightening films. www.trulymovingpictures.org/heartland-film-festival/
37th Annual Indianapolis International Festival at the State Fairgrounds (November 22-24). Central Indiana’s largest and oldest pan-ethnic celebration showcases ethnic diversity, unique ethnic traditions, and encourages cultural exchange. www.indyinternationalfestival.com/