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Germanfest Picnic LITE offers some of the best dishes of cherished festival to go

The 34rd Annual Germanfest Picnic in Dayton always promises delicious, authentic German eats and treats. (TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTED)
The 34rd Annual Germanfest Picnic in Dayton always promises delicious, authentic German eats and treats. (TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTED)

The party will go on this weekend for one of the region’s most beloved summer traditions. But it will look a little different.

ExplorePHOTOS: Did we spot you at Germanfest Picnic?

Dayton Liederkranz-Turner canceled its 37th annual Germanfest Picnic set for Aug. 14-16 at RiverScape MetroPark in downtown Dayton. In its place will be a much smaller event, Germanfest Picnic LITE, those same days at the Liederkranz facility, 1400 E. Fifth St. in St. Anne’s Hill.

While smaller in scale and designed with safety during the pandemic, the event will still offer some of the most beloved dishes and traditions of the big celebration with a twist.

Schnitzel will be among the Germanfest Picnic festival favorites available to go at Germanfest Picnic LITE Aug. 14-16. TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTED
Schnitzel will be among the Germanfest Picnic festival favorites available to go at Germanfest Picnic LITE Aug. 14-16. TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTED

What to expect

John Koerner, the event’s chair and club’s president, 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 and for carryout those days. There will also be virtual elements.

“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.”

The event will include virtual exhibits, online advance ordering and curbside pickup.

The food and beer

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. On-site capacity is limited, and prepaid advance reservations are encouraged.

“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 33rd Annual Germanfest Picnic in Dayton in 2016. This year, festival favorites will be available for carryout, including brats and metts.  (TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTED)
The 33rd Annual Germanfest Picnic in Dayton in 2016. This year, festival favorites will be available for carryout, including brats and metts.  (TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTED)

What’s on the menu?

All your favorites — Schnitzel Dinners, Brats, Metts, German Potato Salad, Sauerkraut and desserts including cream puffs, streusel, tarts and Bienenstich — will be available for carry-out.

Order ahead on the festival website for curbside pickup to take home and enjoy (or enjoy on site with a reserved table).

The menu and prices:

  • Schnitzel Dinner ($12): Breaded and seasoned pork tenderloin served with German potato salad, seasoned sauerkraut and a slice of rye bread
  • Brat Dinner or Mett Dinner ($11): Specially made bratwurst or mettwurst served with German Potato Salad and seasoned sauerkraut
  • Hot Dog Dinner ($8): Hot dog on bun served with German Potato Salad and seasoned sauerkraut
  • Schnitzel Sandwich ($7): Breaded and seasoned pork tenderloin sandwich
  • Bratt or Mett on a bun ($6)
  • Hot dog on a bun ($2)
  • Sauerkraut ($4)
  • Potato Salad ($4)
  • Pretzels ($3): Cheese sauce available for $1
  • Bienenstich ($4): German dessert made of a sweet yeast dough with a baked-on topping of carmelized almonds and filled with custard or cream.
  • Cream Puff ($4)
  • Cherry Streusel cake ($4)
  • Obsttorte ($4): Fresh cake with fresh fruit

A large selection of German Beer (including Ayinger draft Oktoberfest) as well as domestic and craft beers will be available on site or to go when you order a meal.

The Germanfest Picnic, run by the Liederkranz-Turner organization, celebrated its 36th year in 2020. This year's smaller-scale celebration will offer food and beer to enjoy at home or at reserved, socially distanced tables. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
The Germanfest Picnic, run by the Liederkranz-Turner organization, celebrated its 36th year in 2020. This year's smaller-scale celebration will offer food and beer to enjoy at home or at reserved, socially distanced tables. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Reserve a table

If you want to stay on site, the Donors’ Biergarten offers the chance to reserve a socially distanced table for up to six people for two hours, and enjoy your food and bier on site. This option has limited availability. The cost is $50.

Walk-ins will be permitted on a space-available basis, but will likely be very limited.

All guests need to wear masks and remain seated at their assigned tables.

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
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

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Virtual events and shopping

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

Once you have picked up your Germanfest Picnic to-go meals, enjoy them at home while watching the virtual Germanfest Picnic events live on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and www.germanfestdayton.com.

There will be a virtual mass and fashion show.

  • Virtual Polka Mass - 10 a.m. Sunday
  • Virtual Bavarian Fashion Show - 2:30 p.m. Saturday

Guests can shop in the Kranzi Store online for face masks, T-shirts, pins and more. You can order online and pick up when you pick up your meal.

How to donate

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

The club has launched a fund-raising effort to raise $13,000 to cover costs and gain needed funds for preparing for next year’s event. Club members and supporters have pledged up to a $6,500 match from donations to help reach that goal.

“The Germanfest Picnic is our biggest fundraiser every year,” said Judy Schneider, Dayton Liederkranz Turner Clubhouse’s Public Relations Liaison. “We have a club that absolutely eats money. If it’s not the plumbing, it’s the air. If it’s not the air, it’s the sewage.”

Donate online or send a check to the Dayton Liederkranz Turner, 1400 E. Fifth St., Dayton, OH 45402 marked “Match Challenge Grant.”

Part of the proceeds from the Germanfest Picnic goes toward scholarships. The club has awarded about $55,000 since the scholarship program’s creation. This year, $2,500 was awarded in scholarships and academic awards.

Mark your calendars

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

WANT TO GO?

What: Dayton Germanfest Picnic LITE

When: Aug. 14-16. Hours are 5-11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Dayton Liederkranz Turner Clubhouse, 1400 E. Fifth St., St. Anne’s Hill in Dayton

Parking: Free parking available across from the club at Stivers High School or SOITA

More info: www.germanfestdayton.com