Tag Archives: german marching bands

German Bands and Beer Make For Great Fun at the Steuben

19 Sep
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Traditional Costumes of Germany

Mid-September is when people of German descent in the Tri-State area gather together and celebrate the birthday of a Revolutionary War hero, Baron von Steuben. In it’s 59th year, the Steuben Parade is also a time to display unity and friendship with native Germans and their German-American counterparts. This year’s Grand Marshall, ice skating champion, Katarina Witt made her way up the parade route on 5th Ave. to the reviewing stand on 78th St.  She was announced by an annual favorite, the German Air Force Band. One of the best displays of unity was the Steuben Association of the NYFD hosting their German Firemen counterparts. They marched right behind each other as brother and sisters in arms. Both dedicated to protecting and serving others in harms way. I did get a kick out of the police car used by Germans …made a Smart car look like a Suburban. The first of many beer floats made its way up the parade route as there was a huge tent in Central Park that had a big Oktoberfest celebration that coincided with the big one going on in Munich the same day. Many dancers and marchers dressed in traditional German attire were happy to stop by for a quick photo op.

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Carnaval Costumers

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The Little Car That Could….

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German and American Unity

One of the best things about the Steuben is we get treated to hear German bands play their marching songs or even a few American favorites. Stadtkapelle Offenburg played a Jersey Boys favorite tune.  They were soon followed by a newer group that played well. Zierte Jonge Niederzier got the crowd excited for what would be the scene stealer with the marching band clad in all white from Fanfarenzug Potsdam. They really did a fantastic job and got the crowd worked up. Keep in mind the Steuben is by far one of the most polite parades in NY. Yes there will be a hoot and a holler once in a while but for the most part people just applaud and wave…yawn. The beer floats definitely pick things up whenever there is a lull in the flow. There were easily a dozen beer floats and every one of those was having a good time. One of the best floats was in honor of the German contribution to film making. Annual crowd favorites continue to be the Volkswagon cars from Long Island, the German dobermans, and the Carnaval costumers. Americans from German descent came from New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania to share in the friendship and unity and of course…beer.

Germans Getting Louder at the Steuben

23 Sep
Maypole at the Steuben

Maypole at the Steuben

     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.

Getting nice on the beer float

Getting nice on the beer float

German costume

German costume

Another round anyone?

Another round anyone?

     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.

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