03 September 2011

Attending Oktoberfest 2011 and Thoughts about German Genealogy

Yesterday, my wife and I attended the opening day of The Cleveland Labor Day Oktoberfest (http://clevelandoktoberfest.com/) at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds in Berea.

We enjoyed ourselves watching ethnic dance groups, visiting with vendors, and eating brats and potato pancakes (with some beer, of course).

One of the highlights was the hourly performance of a group called Das Glockenspiel. Let me borrow the description from the website: 

The Glockenspiel has become a much beloved fixture at the Oktoberfest. When the hour strikes, the music kicks in and smoke machines billow. With all the jubilance of a night on Bourbon Street, Oktoberfest revelers gather round the flashing lights of the Glockenspiel. Like birds from a cuckoo clock, the slapdancing Schuhplattlers emerge dressed as nuns, old men, monks, or just dressed like themselves. They get the audience to participate in an irreverent dance ... At routine's end, they loose a hail of souvenirs upon those gathered round the Glockenspiel. From beads, to frizbees, t-shirts, key chains and more, Oktoberfest keepsakes rain down so liberally that you'd have to be uncoordinated not to catch something. 

It was only opening day, but by 9 p.m., the fairgrounds midway was already crowded. Other ethnic groups have festivals, but I'm betting that this celebration of ethnic heritage is the largest by far.

That got me to wondering about genealogy and ethnic groups. There are several clubs specializing in ethnic genealogy in the Cleveland area, such as Polish, Hungarian, Italian, and African-American, to name a few, but I'm not aware of any specializing in German genealogy. Certainly the huge number of people with German ancestry would seem to warrant such a group.
I wonder why there is no club for German genealogy in Cleveland. Anybody have any ideas?  


  1. When my daughter attended BW College I often went past the fairgrounds. I am sorry now I never stopped for a bit. That is such a great town.

  2. Welcome to the GeneaBloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

    May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

    Dr. Bill ;-)
    Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories" and family saga novels:
    "Back to the Homeplace" and "The Homeplace Revisited"