Warminster Goes German for Oktoberfest
Vereinigung Erzgebirge hosted its annual Oktoberfest/Sportsfest celebration Sunday afternoon.
The ceremonial tapping of the keg kicked off a fun filled day of German-American heritage and traditions Sunday, September 11, as the Vereinigung Erzgebirge Club (VE Club) hosted its 74th annual Oktoberfest and Sportsfest.
Large crowds gathered together to listen to great live German music provided by the Philadelphia German Brass Band, while smells of schnitzel and funnel cake filled the air.
Face painting, moon bounces and soccer games were also going on throughout the day.
Many attendees even wore German lederhosen to help celebrate the event.
Before the keg tapping, the event began with a small parade filled with various groups ranging from the “Mighty Mites” youth soccer teams to the 111th Fighter Wing Honor Guard.
Master of Ceremonies position was traded between the President of the VE Club, Jay Bitterlich, and Vice President Willy Aust.
A remembrance ceremony of “dignified observance” was held to pay “honor and tribute [to] those who lost their lives” during the September 11th terrorist attacks.
On hand for the ceremony were members of the Warminster police and fire departments, as well as the 111th Fighter Wing and German American firefighters.
During the ceremony, Chairman of the Bucks County Commissioners Charles Martin called the day of the terrorist attacks a “day of great courage” and uttered the famous quote “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”
Martin also spoke of the 18 Bucks County citizens who lost their lives on that fateful day, and the 19 “sons and daughters” from Bucks County who have gone on to fight in the War on Terror. He was then presented with a plaque dedicated to the Bucks County victims of the terrorist attacks.
Warminster Firefighters then rang three sets of five bells, known as a “return to quarters” which firefighters ring to honor those who lose their lives, in between moments of silence as recognition of all the lives lost on September 11th.
The rest of the day was filled with many fun German events including recognition of this year’s Cornflower queen and two Cornflower princesses. This year’s queen was Christina Brenner, while Julia Dufield and Jamie Pfrommer were the two princesses.
By driving through the enormous evergreen lined driveway before arriving at the VE Club, you are magically transported to the land of Germany.
“You’re really in Warminster, but you could be anywhere,” says Kurt and Margo Wunder, of South Philadelphia. For them coming to the annual event has been lots of fun and a great place to bring the kids.
According to its website, the VE Club has been holding the Oktoberfest for 74 years as one of the big events planned by the four big German clubs in the area. The Canstatter Club would take Labor Day weekend; VE would take next weekend, then the German Hungarians, and finally the Bavarian Club. The tradition continues to this day.
All in all it was a day of music, food, and all things fun as people gathered together to celebrate their German heritage.