The Deutschtown German society will be holding its second annual public Oktoberfest this weekend.
By: Nick Eustis
Northside beer lovers rejoice! The Teutonia Männerchor in Historic Deutschtown is hosting its second annual public Oktoberfest celebration Friday, September 8 thru Sunday, September 10.
“Teutonia Männerchor is one of the oldest singing societies in the U.S. – founded in 1854 in Deutschtown,” said Ed Graf, treasurer at Teutonia Männerchor. “We are a private club open to anyone who is willing to further choral singing, German cultural tradition, and good fellowship.”
The club meets in the Teutonia Männerchor Hall on Phineas St. The building was erected in 1888 and dons a distinctive German “Fachwerk” style of architecture that utilizes timber for facades, frames and archways. The public Oktoberfest is one of only two public events hosted by Teutonia Männerchor, the other being a celebration of spring called Maifest. Currently, Teutonia has over 2,400 members.
Oktoberfest is a traditional German Volksfest, or “people’s festival,” and the largest annual festival of its kind. The first Oktoberfest was held on October 12, 1810, after the marriage of King Ludwig I of Bavaria to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Much of the original Oktoberfest was based around horse racing and would look quite different compared to a modern-day Oktoberfest celebration. Nevertheless, the decision to repeat this spectacle again in 1811 was made and such began the evolution towards the Oktoberfest tradition we know today. While the largest Oktoberfest is held in Munich, Germany, celebrations are also held worldwide, especially in areas with large German immigrant populations, like the Northside’s Deutschtown neighborhood.
Teutonia members will be on staff working at the event, selling tickets, and serving food and drinks, amongst other duties. There will be plenty of German cultures to fill up on, literally and figuratively.
“We offer an excellent selection of German beers and Pittsburgh craft brew. We also sell potato pancakes, wurst sandwiches, and other authentic German food,” said Graf. “We have a large tent for musical and dance performances from a variety of German bands, and our dance group ‘Alpen Schuhplattler Und Trachten Verein D’Pittsburgher,’ which performs traditional dances.”
Teutonia’s Oktoberfest celebration will run from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets will only be available at the door and are $10 for adults, $5 for children. For additional information visit the Tuetonia Männerchor website.