The Germanfest Picnic, run by the Liederkranz-Turner organization, celebrated its 36th year over the weekend from Friday, August 9 until Sunday, August 11. The festival was hosted at Riverscape Metropark for the third year, bringing a taste of German culture to downtown Dayton. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo: Tom Gilliam
Photo: Tom Gilliam

Big Dayton German festival canceled, but ‘lite’ party will go on with plenty of potato salad, schnitzel, brats and bier

One of the region’s largest festivals has been canceled, but organizers say all is not lost.

You will still be able to get your prost on with potato salad, schnitzel, brats, bier and other goodies. 

>> PHOTOS: Did we spot you at Germanfest Picnic? 

Dayton Liederkranz-Turner has canceled its Germanfest Picnic set for Aug. 14-16 at RiverScape MetroPark in downtown Dayton, said president John Koerner, the event’s chair and club’s president. 

Instead, the club’s board voted Tuesday to hold a much smaller event, Germanfest Picnic Lite, those same days at the Liederkranz facility, 1400 E. Fifth St. in St. Anne’s Hill. 

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Details are still being worked out, but Koerner said much of the food and drink that has made the festival one of Dayton’s favorites over the years will be available on site those days and there will be virtual elements added. 

The Germanfest Picnic, run by the Liederkranz-Turner organization, celebrated its 36th year over the weekend from Friday, August 9 until Sunday, August 11. The festival was hosted at Riverscape Metropark for the third year, bringing a taste of German culture to downtown Dayton. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo: Tom Gilliam

“We wanted to keep the name because that’s how people know us,” he said. “Obviously it is not the same thing as having the (RiverScape) grounds, the bands and all the food trucks, so we call it lite.”

Heading into its 37th year, GermanFest Picnic is a major annual fundraiser for maintenance and operation of the Liederkranz-Turner, Dayton’s oldest German society.

Koerner said food including the festival’s signature German potato salad and schnitzel will be sold for carryout and to be eaten in areas to be set up around the club. 

“You will be able to sit down under the guidance allowed and enjoy some of our famous food and drink,” he said. “It is important for some of us who are very involved in this thing that we don’t lose momentum.” 

The Germanfest Picnic, run by the Liederkranz-Turner organization, celebrated its 36th year over the weekend from Friday, August 9 until Sunday, August 11. The festival was hosted at Riverscape Metropark for the third year, bringing a taste of German culture to downtown Dayton. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo: Tom Gilliam

There may be a virtual mass, 5K and fashion show. 

There will be no bands, additional food trucks or vendors, due to health restrictions. 

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Organizers are hoping to add links to popular craft vendors to its website, Koerner said. 

A full Germanfest Picnic is planned for Aug. 13-15, 2021. 

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