First Lutheran Church celebrates German culture

Haley GuidryFeature, Inside 640

The people of Knoxville had a chance to immerse themselves in all things German Aug. 25, at First Lutheran Church’s annual GermanFest. There was a full schedule of events, including several musical performances and sanctuary tours. Featured musicians included Concord Brass, Knox Polka Kings, Mike Beckley and the UT Organ Studio.

Concord Brass performs for the crowd at GermanFest.

There was no shortage of traditional German treats available at the festival from the vendors Cubish and Hawg Dawgs. Food offerings included bratwurst, apfel strudel, Bavarian pretzels and currywurst. Local breweries offered up some of Knoxville’s finest beers. A Root Beer Garden was available for children or for those who preferred a sweet drink.

First Lutheran was founded 149 years ago by German immigrants, so celebrating GermanFest is part of its heritage and culture. It was Knoxville’s first German-language church.

“GermanFest is an annual event that supports the First Lutheran Church and School. It is a fundraising event, and last year it helped us buy some stereo equipment,” said Jamie Newell, the school’s kindergarten teacher. “We are a K-8 school, and we do this event every year to celebrate German culture and to raise some money. This is our fifth year holding this event.”

While adults enjoyed the drinks and music, children got their faces painted or participated in free games.

Inside of the church there were many booths set up for the silent auctions. There was also a German marketplace, where various items from both the church and from other local vendors were for sale.

Karen Farris of Castle Garden Creations sells delightful headwear and more at GermanFest.

The Root Biergarten was a big hit at GermanFest.

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