German heritage is celebrated every weekend during October at the Deutsches Haus in the Rivertown section of Kenner. There is traditional music, German folk dancing, lots of cold beer, German wines and liquors, and delicious German cuisine
Every night during the event, visitors pack the outside courtyard and Biergarten to hear authentic German bands set the beats for traditional dances that often involve knee-slapping, twisting and chanting.
Usually held on the first or second weekend of the event, the Oktoberfest parade rolls straight to the Deutsches Haus and ends with a party featuring more live music, chicken dancing and drinking.
But the main event for many is really the delicious cuisine, including sauerbraten (braised marinated roast beef), krautwickel (ground beef stuffing rolled in cabbage, kasseler rippchen (smoked pork shank braised in a citrus sauce), sauerkraut (pickled cabbage), bratwurst sausage and giant Bavarian pretzels with more than 20 German beers to wash it all down.
There are also German crafts for sale and a souvenir shop. And no Oktoberfest is complete without the Dachshund Dash with dozens of weiner dogs hoping to out run each other.
Incorporated in 1928, the Deutsches Haus was formed as a benevolent and social organization that evolved from the Deutsche Gesellschaft von New Orleans, a group that provided support for the numerous German immigrants in the New Orleans area.
The Deutsches Haus has grown into an organization with a mission to celebrate and foster the rich culture, musical heritage, language and history of the German people. It also has one of the largest private archives of German memorabilia in the country, which contain records from various German consulates, local German newspapers, genealogical records and more.
There is a small fee to enter the festival. Children 12 and under are free.