A national German festival is coming back to Buffalo after first coming to the city in 1993 and then once again in 2005. Gaufest, a traditional biennial German festival that attracts thousands of people from all over the US, isn’t scheduled to come back to Buffalo until 2017, but the news bodes well for traveling festivals that are beginning to appreciate all that Buffalo has to offer. From the development of the waterfront, to myriad restaurants that are popping up all over the city, to the beautiful architecture and friendly people, Gaufest organizers continue to give Buffalo the “thumbs up”, while bringing German-enthusiasts along for the ride (see Facebook).
“The best sound bite I heard from delegate after delegate as to what put them over to Buffalo , was how excited the Buffalo representatives were to have this opportunity to host Gaufest again,” said the festival’s Honorary Chairman Randy Bracewell. “They felt it was truly from the heart.”
When the festival does return, visitors will be treated with a number of traditional festivities including Heimatabend (performances of traditional song, dance, and music), Mundartmesse (traditional church service done in Bavarian dialect), Welcome and Farewell Dances, Festabend (Saturday banquet), Ehrentaenze (honor dances), Festzug (parade), Festtag (Sunday festival), Preisplatteln (prize dancing), Jugendeinzelplatteln (children’s single-couple dancing), workshops and socializing.
“What better way to showcase the city and these changes than to have 1500-2000 people from all over the US, Canada and Germany here to show it off to,” said festival Chairman Mike Zavarella. “The organizing committee has the confidence in Buffalo to host a successful event that upholds German culture and traditions.”
Now that we’re doing so well in the German festival department, we should be going even further by trying to woo a Hofbräuhaus restaurant and Bier Hall here to Buffalo. Currently Hofbräuhaus is established in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Newport and Las Vegas, and I have heard that in the past there have been certain parties affiliated with Hofbräuhaus that have taken a look at Buffalo as a good city for a possible location. German food and beer, in a communal beer hall setting and Bier Garden atmosphere, would be an excellent permanent destination in Downtown Buffalo, preferably Canalside.
With the continual tap on the shoulder from Gaufest, and the glowing accolades bestowed our city, along with the uber-successful annual German-Fest that has reinvented itself at Canalside, it’s time that the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) rolls out the red carpet for Hofbräuhaus to possibly join in on the action.
The Hofbräuhaus buildings are modeled after the legendary 400+ year-old Hofbräuhaus in Munich, Germany. Hofbräuhaus has a Brew Master from Germany who supervises the production of four varieties plus Seasonal Specialties of the authentic Hofbräuhaus beer – with Buffalo’s recent growth in the beer industry, it’s a good time to knock on the door of the legendary Hofbräuhaus… not to mention the steeped history of German brewing in Buffalo. The restaurants seat up to 400 (plus or minus) people and serve traditional Bavarian fare. If this recipe were to be positioned in the right Downtown location, it would surely be a huge draw and incredible asset for Buffalo.
Image: 1935 Fahnenwei. Holding the flag are Lorenz Bettinger and Max Stoiber