by Eddy Dobosiewicz
With the growing popularity of ethnic celebrations such as St. Paddy's Day, Dyngus Day, and the Italian Festival it's almost shocking that the City of Buffalo does not have a legacy German festival inside its city limits. Considering that 14 percent of all Western New Yorkers claim German heritage, one would think that there would be a lot more schnitzel saturation.
That's all about to change with the joined forces of Buffalo's Blackrock and Riverside neighborhood businesses. The first-ever "RiverRocktoberfest" aims to fill that void by tapping into our city's past while tying together our present and future.
Not only did the German immigration take a firm hold in this northern Buffalo enclave in the early 1800s, the current climate of reinvention and pioneer-type spirit being exhibited by today's Black Rock and Riverside urbanites make it an ideal location to celebrate our shared cultural and ethnic heritage.
Beside, it's fun!
Through the support of Buffalo Common Council member and longtime neighborhood resident Joe Golombek, along with Dyngus Day promoter and Buffalo advocate Eddy Dobosiewicz, area businesses have banded together to throw one seriously superb Oktoberfest celebration. Beginning with an "official" Munich-style keg-tapping ceremony, numerous venues will provide everything from traditional "Oom Pa Pa" orchestras to wandering accordion minstrels, authentic German food and libations, fair-haired frauleins and lederhosen-clad lads. They'll all be joined together by a shuttle system and a spirit of ethnic and civic pride that have become synonymous with our area's growing enthusiasm for our immigrant roots.
A full schedule of entertainment, venues and shuttle routes can be found on www.rivrocktoberfest.com.
So whether you look darling in a dirndl or are still squeamish about sauerkraut, we welcome one and all to what promises to be Buffalo's premier celebration of all things Deutschland as we get gemutlichkeit and join in a rousing chorus of "Ein Prosit."