HOFBRÄU HERITAGE FEATURE #2
German Clubs of Maifest Chicago
The annual Maifest Chicago is here. From June 1st through June 4th, you are invited to celebrate spring in traditional German style. Lincoln Square, Chicago’s original German neighborhood, is filled with people in Dirndl and Lederhosen, live music and entertainment, German cuisine and of course – Hofbräu Beer.
The Maifest Committee, including President Joe Matuschka and Vice President Joe Bradtke, is deeply committed to the celebration of German culture and heritage, which is widespread in Chicago. Thus, the Maifest was first held in 2000 and has since grown in size and participants, and that wouldn’t have been possible without the German-American clubs and societies involved in the festival.
One of the original organizations involved is the Rheinischer Verein, a 133-year-old German Club dedicated to promoting their origin – the German Rheinland – by celebrating Karneval, organizing festivities, dances and events for the local community. “Sharing German Gemütlichkeit and the rich and various traditions that our culture has to offer is our passion,” says Hans Geyer, President of Rheinischer Verein. “And you don’t have to be German to celebrate with us. The only requirement is that you want to have fun,” adds Ed Jacobi jokingly, 2nd Vice President of Rheinischer Verein and longtime friend of the Hofbräu brand.
Another OG in the Maifest Chicago organization is Sankt Hubertus Jagd Club. Founded in 1967, members of the club actively promote German traditions and especially the practice of hunting skills taught by the founding members.
American Aid Society of German Descendants, also involved in Maifest Chicago, originated in 1944 with the purpose of providing help to people affected by the brutal aftermath of World War II. The devotion to help society members in need runs throughout their club’s history and activity. Groups like the Jugendgruppe (youth group) carry on the traditions and customs of the “old world”. Leader Nick Balcerak explains, “We practice German heritage with German folk songs and various ethnic folkdances and are excited to once again be part of Maifest Chicago’s show program.”
Brandenburger Schützenverein Chicago, Heimat und Trachten Verein Edelweiss, Niedersachsen Club Chicago and Donauschwaben Society of Chicago are among the other organizations that volunteer their time and skills for Maifest Chicago to ensure you have the best time and most authentic German experience.
To learn more about the traditions of Maifest Chicago, this year’s lineup and schedule, visit: