Every culture has its own custom in how they celebrate their heritage. That’s why covering parades in NYC is so much fun and insightful into how people from far away pay tribute to their own. The German American community has always been orderly and punctual and for the most part quiet. Not this year. Either the beer was flowing early or the various groups that flew in from Germany and surrounding areas were in a more than usual festive mood. In this the 56th edition of the Steuben Day Parade, where Prussian General von Steuben is honored for his leadership during the American Revolution, many large groups from Germany marched up the parade route on 5th Ave. and 67th up to 86th St. One of the best things about this parade is to see and hear the various marching bands from Germany, a treat any New Yorker would enjoy. A band that got the crowd worked up for a day of fun and celebration were the Liesborner marching band playing a nice tune and then singing in German. Several beer floats rolled by with some really fun groups getting into the swing of things but probably the best one was the Erdinger float with some really happy gals working the crowd and loving it.
It’s fun to watch all the traditional costume and dress of Germany. You just never know what to expect. They are all different. While the Irish and Scottish men wear kilts, the German men wear long shorts that could pass for pajamas. Great for a parade not so sure about a basketball game on 4th St. Another band that played eloquently came from the Landkreis Kumbach marching band. One noticeable difference in this years parade was the float showing the German and French Alliance with invited guests from Alsace and Brittany. Guess time does heal some deep wounds. One of my favorite parts of the parade is when the VWs come up 5th Ave. both old and new ones. A parade favorite has always been the German dogs walking their owners to the crowds delight. Keeping the energy level up came a float with Zum Stemmtisch playing a really upbeat tune the crowd really enjoyed. The drum only marching band of Reservisten Trammlerzug lead the way for an interesting group of marchers. One of the better bands I thought were the marching band of Bedbucdyck. Their uniforms and march and tune scored high notes. All in all it was one of the better Steuben parades I have been to. And as always the marchers headed over to Central Park for more celebration, food and what else beer…lots of beer and good times.