City of Nazareth celebrates 41st annual German Festival

Every year, hundreds gather in the city of Nazareth for their annual German Festival. Saturday, the tradition was no different as residents work hard to put on the event.

â??Everybody looks forward to it every year,â?? said Hall Committee member, Ashley Kleman. â??I remember going to it as a kid. I remember looking forward to it.â??

The event started in 1972 as a way to raise money for the town and celebrate the heritage of the German families that settled in the town hundreds of years ago.

â??Itâ??s a great way for us just to get in touch with our roots and remember where we came from,â?? said Kleman.

While German Festival may be the dayâ??s main event, every year more and more people come out to the eveningâ??s event, Suds â??n Sounds. Itâ??s an event that started as an appreciation party and turned into an annual event alongside German Festival.

â??We invited people out to come and then we started getting bands,â?? said one of the originators of Suds â??n Sounds, Greg Birkenfeld.â??It originally started on a hay wagon as it progressed through the years, they combined it with German feast and started just a big celebration as part of the heritage of the community.â??

Birkenfeld was just one of the members of the band Ruff Ryders that originated the event. Itâ??s something they are proud to look back and see how far the event has grown.

â??Oh, it has grown a bunch,â?? said another originator from the band Ruff Ryders, Dwayne Kleman. â??It started out at home plate and here we are at center field with lots of area bands and big name headliners.â??

Hundred may come out each year for the cityâ??s event. However, for the residents of Nazareth, the festival holds a deeper meaning. A sense of one community coming together for one day each year.