Gretna Oom-Pah-Pah! Beer and Brats! How lucky is the Gretna community for having such a wonderful organization as the Friends of the German- American Center and the outstanding GACC Center and Museum to enjoy.  

Here’s your chance to celebrate Oktoberfest in Gretna and hear the Deutsches Haus band, “Bier Musikanten,” and the Beer Choir. The celebration will be on Saturday, September 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Fifth Street parking lot at the German-American Cultural Center, 519 Huey P. Long Avenue.

“There will be grilled brats, our tasty homemade sauerkraut, delicious baked pretzels, and, of course, plenty of German beer and wine,” said Carol Schlueter, center director. “We’re pleased to be having the first Oktoberfest celebration in the New Orleans area this year. And we have special music that we know everyone will enjoy.”

The Bier Musikanten brass group will open at 10:30 a.m. The house band from Deutsches Haus, made up of Haus members, is an all-brass group of 10 or more players who specialize in German songs. Following them at 12:30 p.m. will be the Beer Choir, an offshoot of the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans. Directed by Steven Edwards, the Beer Choir performs German tunes and other popular songs, while encouraging everyone at the beer garden to join in the singing. Beer Choir “hymnals” with music and words will be provided.

“While you’re celebrating Oktoberfest, you can take a stroll through the GACC Museum, dedicated to the German immigrants who founded Gretna in 1836,” Schlueter said.

“The museum traces the arrival of Germans in Louisiana in 1721, the impact of German customs on New Orleans, and the effects of the world wars on German-Americans. Plus, you can view our exhibit of vintage photographs showing the early history of the West Bank.”

The GACC tells the stories of the German immigrants who founded Mechanikham in 1836 – the village that became Gretna, Louisiana. Those settlers and their descendants forged Gretna’s history. The outstanding collection of German steins and German dolls are also quite the treat.

The annual GACC Oktoberfest is a kind of “warm-up” event for Gretna Fest, she said. “The center will sponsor a large Bier Garten at Gretna Fest on October 7th through the 9th. Our center at 519 Huey P. Long Avenue will not be within the footprint of the Fest, but we will be setting up operations down the street in the 200 block of Huey P. Long Avenue, offering grilled brats and German beer on tap.”

For more information, visit www.gacc-nola.org or call 504.363.4202.

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