Sarah Schreiber and Dennis Wessel performing a Laendler at the 1999 Oktoberfest. Photo: Hilde J. Cox
The Delaware Saengerbund, a
German-American singing society founded in March 1853, became an
important social club for newly arriving German immigrants. It has
become the focal point of the German community in Delaware through
its annual event Oktoberfest. Although the first
Volksfest was held in Wilmington's
1883, the modern Munich-style Oktoberfest first began in 1979. The
roots of this fall festival are in Bavaria, when it was first
celebrated as a wedding festivity for the crown prince of Bavaria
on October 12, 1810. Because of weather considerations, the
Delaware Saengerbund Oktoberfest is always held on the
third week of September. Nearly 20,000 people attend the three-day
festival which features Bavarian bands and folk dancing. Dancers in
colorful costumes perform the Schuhplattler, or "shoe slapping"
dance, along with other German folk dances, such as the
Ländler. Also featured during the event are German foods,
including the famous German potato salad of the Ladies of the
Project documentation includes six pages of text, two
8 x 10 color photos, and a postcard and brochure on the
Originally submitted by: William V. Roth, Jr., Senator.
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.