Rob Schwalbe, left, and Erwin Rauschendorfer both of Detroit, play music during the 2012 German-American Festival.
The Blade/Jeremy Wadsworth
Oregon will hold its annual weekend of German food, music, and beer Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as the German-American Festival returns to Oak Shade Grove.
“It will be our usual good time, and all for a good cause,” said event chairman, Tim Pecsenye. “We’re expecting 35,000 visitors from all over. Last year we had people from Australia, Germany, and Britain. From this country, they came from as far away as the East Coast, Oklahoma, and Missouri. And, of course, we had Canadians from Ontario.”
Opening time is 6 p.m. Friday, with a parade and opening ceremony at 8 p.m. The festivities end that night at 1 a.m. Saturday’s hours are 2 p.m. to 1 a.m., and Sunday’s are noon to 11 p.m.
On Sunday, active military, police, fire, and EMS personnel will be admitted free with proof of employment, and senior citizens with a Golden Buckeye Card get a $1 discount.
This is the festival’s 48th year. The event dates to 1966, at Raceway Park on Telegraph Road in Toledo. It moved to the Lucas County Recreation Center in 1975, then to its permanent home in Oregon in 1985.
Oregon Mayor Mike Seferian said the celebration is an important draw for his city.
“It brings in people who otherwise might not stop by. People have heard of Oregon, but they may not know where we are and what we’re like. The festival gives us a chance to show what a nice community we have and show off our hospitality,” he said. “People can see what we’re all about.”
Mr. Seferian said the festival reimburses the city for increased police patrols scheduled for traffic control. Security inside the festival is provided by off-duty sheriff’s deputies.
Oak Shade Grove, 3624 Seaman Rd., has more than 70 acres of free, lighted parking accessible from Seaman, Starr Avenue, or Corduroy Road. Handicapped parking is available from Seaman.
Parking also is available at Starr Elementary School, Fassett Junior High School, and Clay High School with free shuttle service.
Shuttle service also is available for $6 at Toledo-area locations.
The departure points include Bar 145, 5305 Monroe St.; Berger’s Olde Tyme, 1742 W. Laskey Rd.; Mayfly Tavern, 4532 N. Summit St.; Anchor Inn, 4950 Suder Ave.; the Attic on Adams, 1701 Adams St., and Icons Eatery and Entertainment, 3150 Navarre Ave.
The event is the area’s oldest ethnic festival, Mr. Pecsenye said. “The others are modeled after us.”
Proceeds are used for scholarships and to help cover the $170,000 annual cost of owning and maintaining Oak Shade Grove.