Tourism: Happy Tenth Birthday, Augustoberfest!

Happy Tenth Birthday, Augustoberfest!
by Mary Ellen Mitchell

A Hagerstown tradition celebrates ten years of fun, food and folklore. The 10th Annual Augustoberfest will be held on the weekend of Saturday August 13 from 11am to 10pm and Sunday, August 14 from 11am until 5pm. Each year this event, run by the nonprofit organization, the Augustoberfest Charitable Foundation, has grown and attracted crowds to the city of Hagerstown to celebrate its German heritage. Hagerstown has its own Sister City in Wesel, Germany. This wonderful fest supports a scholarship for exchange students to learn about German culture firsthand by traveling to Wesel.
According to the Augustoberfest Website (www.augustoberfest.org), the City of Hagerstown and Wesel, Germany formally joined hands as sister cities by public proclamation on March 10, 1952. The two cities hoped to set an example to symbolize peace and the ending of a horrific war. These cities have continued to share this affiliation for the past forty-seven years. "Today, both cities continue to promote programs such as the Augustoberfest to celebrate the partnership of Hagerstown and Wesel. They realize the importance of friendship and understanding in achieving world peace."
Reminiscent of the traditional Oktoberfest in the Bavarian region of Germany, the festival promises two full days of activities for all ages. This year's entertainment headliners include: Manni Daum, the Bayernflitzers, a Schuhplattergruppe and the Heimat Echo Band. The Alphorn will also return and the crowds are sure to enjoy the exposure to the culture offered through music and dance.
A Volksmarch or non-competitive walk will kick off the festival on August 13 at 8am. Walkers will have the opportunity to choose from a 10K, 5K or 1K trail. The Augustoberfest committee will be working in conjunction with the Piedmont Pacers to ensure the success of this family friendly part of the day.
A new offering scheduled for Sunday, August 14 is the Fruhschoppen or German brunch. Plan on stopping in to taste the best of German food & drink. Brunch will be served from 11am to 2pm on Sunday only, so don't miss out!
An expanded menu of children's activities and a wide selection of crafts and vendors round out the offerings, so each member of the family will be entertained. Thousands of people know this is an event not to be missed. Make plans to celebrate at the Central Parking Lot in downtown Hagerstown on Potomac Street between Franklin Street and Washington Street at the 10th Annual Augustoberfest! For more information contact the City of Hagerstown at 301-739-8577 ext. 116.
If you're interested in being a sponsor of this year's Augustoberfest, please E-mail kgiffin@hagerstownmd.org for a sponsorship package.
For those of you who would like to sell their crafts at the fest, visit http://www.augustoberfest.org/craft.html to download a vendor package and application or call the number listed above.