Auf Wiedersehen: the 25th edition of the Peoria Oktoberfest ends on Sunday
PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – This past weekend was a celebration of a culture that is part of the legacy of many families in central Illinois.
The Peoria Oktoberfest 2021 took place from September 17-19, hosted by the Peoria Park District and the German American Central Society.
“Peoria sits in the middle of what’s called the ‘German Triangle’ between Milwaukee and St. Louis and Ohio,” said Craig Ruffolo, treasurer of the German American Central Society. “Peoria has a lot of German heritage and a lot of German names that you might recognize in some of our businesses.”
Ruffolo cited the Trefzger Bakery in Peoria Heights as an example.
One man, Allan Hedeman, is the chairman of the German Heritage Tent. He also plays the alphorn, a German instrument. “Al’s Pals” is one of the many live bands that performed German music throughout the festival weekend.
” I worked on [the festival] since it developed about 25 years ago, ”Hedeman said.
Both men and women wore traditional German clothing and competed in events like the Beer Mug Holding Contest and the Log Sawing Contest.
The German Heritage Exhibition also offered festival-goers the opportunity to learn more about German history and genealogy.