Find of the Week: German Day Festival in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS - News with a Twist has teamed up with the Historic New Orleans Collection to bring you a unique find each week from the museum's vaults.

This week, we take you to the annual German Day Festival through the years.

If there's one thing we know as New Orleanians, it’s how to throw a festival!

But well before the Jazz, Voodoo, And Essence festivals, there were a number of early party goers paving the way, and Germans were among them.

"In 1913, the German community of New Orleans got together to put on a festival on October 5th in honor of October 6th,” Historic New Orleans Collection Deputy Director Daniel Hammer said.

October 6 is important as it celebrates October 6, 1683, when 13 German families landed in Philadelphia, marking the beginning of German contributions to the country.

City populations have celebrated the 6th ever since-- and this event program is from New Orleans' 4th Annual German Day Festival.

"People would have come, they would have paid admission and then there would have been all sorts of food to eat, music to be heard, group activities, group singing,” Hammer said.

New Orleans had been a place that saw large numbers of Germans moving in to town during the 19th century.

"What you had here was a very strong German American population,” Hammer said. “People who were local to New Orleans. People who very well may have been natives born here and grew up in German speaking households and so they were New Orleanians first. Of course they brought some of the same cultural elements to the scene: German music, German beer, German food."

Speaking of food, Germans melded parts of their culture into the city's framework.

That New Orleans french bread dressing up your poboy sandwich was originally made by German bakers.

"There's many adds for breweries of course,” Hammer said. “This guy is Joseph Hartz, the president of the 4th annual festival of German Day."

So let the good times roll, and while you're at it, pair that poboy with something effervescent and German.

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