The fundraising event is open to the community.
The outdoor celebration is filled with games for the children and plenty of food, according to Brigitta and Christian Hoeferle who operate Montessori Kinder, a German-American private school the fundraiser supports.
Since Montessori Kinder began enrolling children in 2005, Maifest has been the school’s final event of the year. Parents, guardians, teachers, students, relatives and friends gather to acknowledge the children’s academic achievements while ushering in the summer with food, drinks, games and music.
The growing influx of German speaking neighbors in connection with Wacker Polysilicon North America, Volkswagen and other European investors has been leading to an increasing diversification of Montessori Kinder’s student body and to overall growth at the school.
In the past two years, Montessori Kinder decided to open up Maifest to the general public and to invite the entire community to an intercultural gathering with a Southern accent.
“While many American communities with a significant German population celebrate Teutonic traditions by hosting an Oktoberfest, the Maifest team is taking a more regionalized approach,” according to a Montessori Kinder news release.
School officials explained the history behind the local celebration.
“Acknowledging the fact that the label Oktoberfest can raise misleading expectations among Germans, and understanding that the vast majority of Cleveland’s and Bradley County’s German-speaking neighbors hail from an area around Burghausen — a town in the southeast corner of Bavaria with its annual Mai Wies’n tradition — Montessori Kinder decided to bridge the gap between the Tennessee Valley and Bavaria and Austria with its Maifest as an intercultural gathering,” the press release explains.
Not only does Maifest bring together expatriates and the local community, the event also serves as a fundraiser benefitting the construction of a new school building for Montessori Kinder which will allow it to double its enrollment.
Maifest will take place in the heart of Cleveland with authentic Bavarian food, drink and music. Visitors will be able to enjoy bratwurst, brezen, semmeln, sauerkraut, kartoffelsalat and a surprise Bavarian dessert. Maifest patrons will also be able purchase authentic Bavarian gingerbread hearts.
Jacob Herzog and the Bavarian Express will be the featured musical guests.
“Maifest is a family-friendly gathering with many children’s activities and games, including a Montessori Kinder outdoor classroom,” the news release cites. “In addition to that, the region’s only German Saturday School (Deutsche Samstagsschule) will conduct an official ribbon cutting at Maifest. We expect representatives of the German government to lead this ceremony, together with local and regional dignitaries.”
As in past years, Maifest 2012 will also be the backdrop for a quarterly membership meeting of the German-American Chamber of Commerce, bringing together the local community and international business.
For more information, visit Maifest online at www.Facebook.com/Maifest or follow the activities on Twitter@Maifest. Additional information is also available by contacting Caitlin Land at 423-479-7282, Brigitta Hoeferle at 423-303-8423 or Christian Hoeferle at 423-284-5013.