The 61st Annual German-American Steuben Parade was held in New York City this weekend, once again bringing together thousands of spectators to celebrate German-American friendship, culture, history and heritage.
Germans and Americans lined the parade route, dressed in traditional German clothing (including the famous Dirndl and Lederhosen), waving German flags and cheering on those who marched in the parade. The parade featured many different marching divisions and even featured old German cars. The German Embassy presented a tank that promoted the 70th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift – a mission in which the United States and the United Kingdom airlifted food and fuel to residents of Berlin after the Soviets blockaded the city in 1948 and 1949. The airlift is seen as a post WWII turning point for German-American friendship.
At the end of the parade route, the Steuben Parade Oktoberfest served thousands of hungry people in Central Park. Featuring German food and live bands, the afternoon of September 15 again marked an important occasion for the German-American community in New York City.
The parade is one of the largest German-American events in the world and is named in honor of Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben (1730-1793), a Prussian general who came to the United States to support General George Washington during the American Revolution. Parades and similar festivities are also held annually in Philadelphia and Chicago.