Von Steuben Day
is held traditionally on a weekend in mid-September (von Steuben was born September 17th
), celebrating Baron Friedrich von Steuben
, who arrived in the United States
as a volunteer offering his services to General George Washington
, and is generally considered the German-American
event of the year. Participants march, dance, and play music.
Steuben Parade in New York
While Steuben Day is celebrated in many cities all across the United States, the largest crowds gather in New York City. Every year on the third Saturday in September, German-Americans celebrate the Annual Steuben Parade on Fifth Avenue and an Oktoberfest-style beer fest complete with food and live music in Central Park. The Parade was founded in 1957 and has grown into one of the largest celebrations of German and German-American culture in the United States.
In 2007, German-Americans celebrate the 50th Anniversary of this affair and welcomed former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger as Grand Marshal and former German chancellor Helmut Kohl as Guest of Honor.
Von Steuben Day in Pop Culture
The Chicago version of the parade was incorporated into the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off
, even though the movie's plot indicates that Ferris is taking advantage of his "ninth sick day" of the school semester, and other movie details indicate the day takes place near the end of the school year, not in September.