German American Social Club Of Peekskill Spearheads Annual Festival

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The German American Social Club of Peekskill is hosting its annual German festival.
The German American Social Club of Peekskill is hosting its annual German festival. Photo Credit: Courtesy of German American Social Club
The German American Social Club of Peekskill has been celebrating German heritage since 1936.
The German American Social Club of Peekskill has been celebrating German heritage since 1936. Photo Credit: Courtesy of German American Social Club

PUTNAM VALLEY, N.Y. -- Thanks to the German American Social Club of Peekskill, everyone will be a little bit Deutsch in Putnam Valley this weekend.

Putnam Valley's Annual German Festival is taking place from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 19 and 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, July 20 at 11 Kramers Pond Road.

The day is organized by the German American Social Club of Peekskill, which has been around since 1936, with the goal of preserving the liberty, equality and tolerance of the German homeland. The club moved to its current Putnam Valley location in 1979.

The event will feature live music from Die Spitzbaum, Henry Leschke and Eric Bayer. A beer truck and Vienna cafe will serve German delicacies like bratwurst, roast beef, frankfurters and pancakes. On Sunday, emergency responders will be let in for free.

"There is a lot of German food for people to love and enjoy," organizer Renate Rao said. "The event is really a lot of fun."

The club also hosts an Oktoberfest in September with plans for a 44-member band to fly in from Germany. 

Rao said she expects more than 800 people to attend each day and she is looking forward to the potato pancakes, funnel cake and the music. 

"I am very proud of my heritage," Rao said. "My dad is from Germany and Austria and my mother is from Germany. There is a sense of pride and love from where my ancestors came from. It's the food you grew up eating."

German pride is also at an all-time high with Germany recently winning the World Cup, which Rao believes will only add to the festivities. 

Rao learned German in school and said it gave her a feeling of togetherness and love for her family and other Germans. Hundreds of hours are spent making sure the festival is a success. 

"We have festival meetings that begin in the late winter and we meet once a month," Rao said. "It's a tremendous amount of work. We have people who come back every year."

For more information on the festival and club, visit www.gac1936.com 

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