Endless food, German beer and Polka bands return downtown for the popular Germanfest Picnic

Scenes from the 2016 Germanfest Picnic at Carillon Historical Park.

Back for its third year at RiverScape MetroPark, the Germanfest Picnic is ready to bring a taste of German culture to downtown Dayton.

“If you are looking for authenticity, this is the place to come,” according to the event’s Facebook.

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The Germanfest Picnic, run by the Liederkranz-Turner organization, came from humble beginnings in the summer of 1983. The festival will celebrate its 36th year in downtown Dayton. 

What began as a small club event, the Dayton Germanfest has become everything an all-encompassing German heritage celebration could ever hope to be. And of course, it’s all kicked off Friday evening with a keg tapping. Here are some of the dishes, events and music acts you can expect this year.  

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Over the last two years, Germanfest has concentrated on expanding the authentic food options available at the festival. Needless to say, we think they accomplished their mission. 

German Schnitzel dinners, custom brats and metts with brötchen, famous Liederkranz potato salad, sauerkraut, crisp and refreshing German cucumber salad, pretzels, and Landjäger, are all on the menu. A wide variety of amazing authentic desserts, including Bienenstich and Strudel, will also be available. A number of food vendors will also be on site to ensure no one goes hungry.

No other event in the area can match the available German draft and bottled beers at Germanfest. This year, 20 craft beers, all draft, will be available, including options from local and regional breweries. A selection of German wines and Jägermeister round out the drink menu.

WATCH THE OUTDATED DATE: Bratwurst cook on Sunday, Aug. 15, at the Dayton Liederkranz-Turner 27th Annual Germanfest Picnic at Carillon Historical Park.
Photo: Chris Stewart/Chris Stewart

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For the second year in a row, the live music at Germanfest will be split into two stages, the Spass Platz main stage and the Dayton Beer Company stage. The main stage will feature German-style entertainment, including the Klaberheads and the Chardon Polka Band. The Dayton Beer Company Stage will feature more “alternative” music than what is traditionally played at the festival, including jazz, acoustic rock and more.

The full entertainment schedule can be found here.

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The Germanfest Picnic has several other activities in store, including a kids play area, Culture Display, a Germanfest race/walk, and genealogy assistance.

Other happenings at the picnic include a traditional Polka mass, a German fashion show, a 50/50 raffle each day, and wiener dog races. 

These are just some of the many things happening during the weekend. So mark your calendars, and go get your Gemütlichkeit on at Germanfest Picnic 2019.


What: 36th Annual Germanfest Picnic 

Where: Riverscape MetroPark, 237 E. Monument Ave., Dayton

When: Aug. 9-11. Friday 5 to 11 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Cost: Free admission

More info: Website | 937-429-9251