Ohio O’fest is “just like home” for native Germans. By Janice Hisle
Although the three B’s—bands, bratwurst, and beer—are must-haves for any Oktoberfest celebration, there’s an essential ingredient that sometimes gets short shrift: Gemütlichkeit. But that warm, friendly, inviting feeling is emphasized at Germania Society of Cincinnati, a German-American club whose credo is “Share in the Gemütlichkeit”. August 26 through 28, 2022, the all-volunteer club will celebrate its 50th Oktoberfest—one of the longest-running O’fests in the Midwest.
“It’s a miniature version of what you’d get if you go to Munich,” said Rob Vaske, who teaches high school German and has volunteered at Germania since 2004. “When you come to our Oktoberfest, you’re not going to see ‘Scotty’s Tacos’ or ‘Jim’s Barbecue’. Instead, you’re going to hear the German language and the German music. You’re going to see the culture, eat the food, and drink the Bier. And you’re going to feel the Gemütlichkeit.” Longtime member Jen Cline said: “It really makes us feel special when people come from Germany and they tell us, ‘This is just like home,’ and it’s heartfelt. That’s the highest compliment we could ever receive.”