Thousands Celebrate German-American Culture at the 2016 Steuben Parade
Enlarge image Interns aboard the German Information Center float at the Steuben Parade. (© Bob Radske) German Ambassador Peter Wittig was named a Grand Marshal of the 59th annual German-American Steuben Parade in New York City on September 17. The event's other Grand Marshal was Katarina Witt, a popular two-time Olympic Gold Medalist from Germany. Together, the two Grand Marshals represented Germany during the city's celebration of German-American culture on Fifth Avenue.
Every year, thousands of participants and spectators come together on the streets of New York City to celebrate German-American friendship, culture, history and heritage. This year's event held up to its standard: Germans and Americans lined the parade route, wearing traditional German clothing (including the famous Dirndl and Lederhosen), waving German flags and cheering on those who marched in the parade. The parade featured nine different marching divisions and even showcased old German cars, such as the BMW Isette of 1961. The German Embassy featured a float that promoted its 2016 Campus Weeks campaign titled "Germany Meets the US". Featuring an inflatable pretzel and bagel and replicas of a Buddy Bear and the Statue of Liberty, this float highlighted important cultural symbols of both nations.
Enlarge image The German Information Center's float for the 2016 Steuben Parade. (© Bob Radske) At the end of the parade route, the Steuben Parade Oktoberfest served thousands of hungry people in Central Park. Featuring German food and live bands, the afternoon of September 17 once again marked an important occasion for the German-American community in New York.
The parade is one of the largest German-American events in the world and is named in honor of Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben (1730-1793), a Prussian general who came to the United States to support General George Washington in the American Revolution. Similar parades and festivities are also held annually in Philadelphia and Chicago.
By Nicole Glass, Editor of The Week in Germany