Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- September 01, 1879The Cannstatt Festival Immense Crowd at Ogden's Grove
The Cannstatt festival, towards which the Swabians looked with eager anticipation, began yesterday. It started off to be a cloudy day, but it eventually turned out to be very pleasant and warm. The affair was very successful and no one regretted the rather long trip to Ogden's grove, since everyone present was in a most jovial mood.
The farmers of the Neckar district who gather annually at Cannstatt on September 28, could not enjoy themselves any better than did yesterday's crowd. The festival proved particularly attractive, since our Germans here do not often find an occasion to revel in genuine Swabian surroundings.
The crowd gathered during the early morning hours at Randolph, Desplaines, and 2Halsted Streets. Here Germans from Bavaria, Baden, Wuerttemberg, and other regions, appeared in their Sunday clothes; men, as well as women, were garbed in the costumes of Southern Germany. Appearance and conduct showed that young and old had resolved not to let any untoward incident mar the peaceful gathering. The committee on arrangements smoothed out the various details and the leader of the parade, Hummel, with his adjutants, did his share as the throng marched in rank and file. This section of Randolph Street looked--to give a European comparison--as though a prince, with his entourage, were approaching. The sidewalks were crowded. The saloons of the vicinity did a thriving business, since the Swabians, true to tradition, partook copiously of the sparkling amber brew.
The final arrangements were completed shortly after eleven o'clock, and the parade started. The throng marched at a lively pace east along Randolph Street. Lieutenant Baus and a platoon of police formed the vanguard; Hummel followed with the knights, soldiers, and adjutants. The musicians rode on a nicely decorated wagon drawn by four horses. A lively march tune was played.3
Messrs. Meinke, Metzdorf, and Dehne, trumpeters, rode horseback, leading a division of "mercenary soldiers" in seventeenth century costume; then followed Mr. Pohme as herald, escorted by seven knights with shields and spears.
Next came the first float, representing the founding of the University of Tuebingen. Sitting on a throne, surrounded by four Capuchin monks, August Elser represented Count Eberhardt Der Rauschebart. The four monks were grouped around the ruler (apparently expecting a decision) and other allegorical figures appeared on a lower level. The float was festively decorated with garlands, wreaths, small trees, and flowers; suitable signs called attention to various historical incidents. Then followed a number of young men, in the garb of students, on horseback.
The second float showed Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa in the Kyffhaeuser.
David Bayha portrayed the part of Barbarossa sitting by the table, and, though 4the blond beard had not grown through (nor around) that piece of marble furniture, his characterization was excellent. Dwarfs sat in various parts of the rocky cavern, as if listening to the cawing of the ravens. Surmounting the entire group stood Germania, holding a sword, a very attractive figure, splendidly characterized by Miss Adolphine Hesse. The young lady (attired as the allegorical figure is usually presented, with long, flowing hair) looked very attractive, and bore up well, despite the merciless sun.
After Barbarossa came a large number of crusaders and shield bearers.
The third allegorical picture, Schiller's "Glocke," was a masterly conception. On one side was shown the molder and his wife (Charles Heiss and Miss Emilie Stiefel), on the other side his daughter, (Miss Amelie Klett) in an attractive costume and her sweetheart (Charles Kellermann) in jerkin, plush pants, and narrow, high boots. Miss Lizzie Hooker and Miss Rosie Klett appeared on the same float, in the "Sunday togs" of women of the time of the Thirty Years' War The molders' helpers, Karl Roepke, W. and Emil Hechinger, and Peter Bergstein, 5also wore very picturesque costumes and proved convincing in their parts.
The next allegorical presentation showed the four districts of Wuerttemberg. A rock--made of strips of oak bark--was mounted in the center of the float, and on each corner stood a figure representing one of the districts. In addition to the figure of the Neckar district, the Donau (Danube) district, presented by Miss Johanna Bohl, proved very effective. She wore a light-colored narrow garment which gradually widened out at the bottom; a tapering strip of blue on the light background suggested the broadening river.
Then followed two additional floats; one represented a Swabian wedding, with the bride and groom returning from the church, and the other was a milk wagon, with milkman, wife, and two girls, all in native costume. Then came the rural mail carrier on horseback and a chapel on a steep mound, followed by sixty-four equestrians carrying flags on which were inscribed the names of the sixty-four districts of Wuerttemberg. Next came the wagon of the festival committee and representatives of the press, a large number of carriages, a butchers' wagon, and a farm wagon. 6All the vehicles were ornamented with flowers and garlands.
We must also mention Franz Demmler, the Swabian "mayor," who appeared in official regalia, riding in a phaeton drawn by two black-and-white-speckled horses.
All of the costumes were furnished by Mrs. Sophie Hagemann; they were a great credit to her.
The entire pageant was about one mile in length, and moved somewhat too rapidly through the gayly ornamented streets, since the parade was delayed at the start. In many places bunting was suspended across the streets.
The route was along Randolph Street, Clark Street, Chicago Avenue, Larrabee Street, Clybourn Avenue, Sedgwick Street, North Avenue, and from there to the grove.7
People gathered at windows, doors, and sidewalks; even the streets were crowded. Shouts of approval were numerous. The bands played popular melodies. At one o'clock the throng reached the grove.
AT THE GROVE
As soon as the parade reached the festival grounds, the crowd broke ranks. At first there was only music. The people who were in the parade sought refreshment at the various booths, while the younger element danced. The shooting gallery, merry-go-round, and other amusement devices were in great demand. Old friends met again, and the waiters were quite busy carrying big steins of beer.
The place was splendidly decorated. The festive pillar, the work of Architect August Bestler, brought universal admiration. Cedar branches and sheaves of grain formed an octagonal base on which was mounted a pillar of vegetables. Potatoes, tomatoes, radishes, carrots, and so forth, formed all kinds of scroll work and figures, while the words "Cannstatt" and "Chicago" appeared especially 8prominent. Four pilasters at the base were surmounted by a vase of grapes, apples, and other fruit. Nearly everybody who came to the festival grounds looked at the pillar and admired it.
It may be appropriate to mention here that the festivities were complete, even to the proverbial Swabian snag. The committee had prepared a float which was to depict the historic seven Swabians with their lances. Through some mischance, the float remained at the livery on Chicago Avenue and so was not in the pageant. However, the matter will be taken care of, and the seven redoubtable Swabians will make their appearance at the festival today.
The various bars at the grove showed all kinds of inscriptions of a folklore character. We shall mention just a few: At the wine counter, a canvas showed a rabbit walking upright and carrying a tray with wine, while seven Swabians, more or less timid, took hold of a single lance and prepared to attack the ferocious beast. On the other side of the wall, the seven Swabians are shown grouped about a table drinking, while the rabbit sits on top of the wine 9barrel. To the right appear the following verses:
"You Swabian, you go ahead,
You've got high boots on,
The rabbit can't bite you.
What a silly chap you are,
Look once more, it's only
Valentine who offers you a
Glass of wine. So throw
Away your lance and
Let us dine."
On the left side appeared this verse:
"And peaceful, like real Swabians, They rest and enjoy Valentine's good wine....."10
Similar inscriptions were present everywhere; they were too numerous to catalogue them all.
At four o'clock, Joseph Schoeninger, president of the Swabian club, introduced the principal speaker, Hermann Siegel of Milwaukee.
...."I shall not resort to euphonious phrases.....Of late we have heard objections, in the press, to festivals which are of a nationalistic character, festivals which emphasize foreign origins. And while such antipathy is justified in certain instances, because of improper conduct which manifests itself occasionally, I cannot subscribe to the one-sided opinion which condemns these festivals in general. These festivals, in the main, will be German--although Swabians, Prussians, Saxonians....may make the arrangements....
"The Swabians were the first to arrange these festivals, and other Germans 11followed....As long as these festivals are not on a profit basis, they are fully justified....We do not intend to give a demonstration showing that we are, first of all, Swabians, Bavarians, and so forth, and then Germans; at long last, German-Americans. I would never be affiliated with any group supporting such views.....
"I despise nothing more than those Americanized Germans who deny their origin, who profess to be ashamed of their great German language, and who adopt the vilest American characteristics. Such degenerate Germans make the worst citizens of this Republic, because they lack character. Their accumulated wealth and prominence do not provide moral fortitude to acquire the better traits of true Americans.....
"The Cannstatt festival is being celebrated in America's larger cities, and has been for the last several years, and our festival today fully conforms to the high standards prevailing elsewhere. It is said that we Swabians are gruff and stubborn, but regardless of what we may stand accused of, we are a congenial, 12jovial lot....."
The speaker was frequently interrupted by applause. Then Franz Demmler, secretary of the club, expressed thanks for the large attendance.....
The singers of the Swabian Club and some members of the Fidelia, who were in the pageant, regaled the assembly with several nice songs during the afternoon.
Speeches, singing, dancing, drinking, and meeting old friends rounded out a pleasant afternoon. It is estimated that at least twenty thousand people came to the festival.
The members of the arrangements committee deserve the gratitude of all members as well as of the public in general. It is apparent that no effort was spared in making the festival a great success.
The net receipts are to be used for a Schiller monument in Lincoln Park.13
THE EVENING FESTIVITIES
During the evening hours the crowd seemed even livelier than in the afternoon. Chinese lanterns and calcium lights--not to forget the soft light of the moon--served for illumination. Dance tunes were played almost incessantly. Both platforms were crowded, as were the neighborhood lawns.
Many people wore Swabian costumes. Julius Wolf was dressed as a nobleman of the last century. Professor De Lafayette, magician, entertained the crowd in the afternoon, and won great acclaim.
The evening fireworks lasted about two hours and were arranged by Professor R. A. O'Shea. Fire wheels, Roman candles, rockets in Union colors, and cannon shots did much to arouse a spirit of gaiety.
Today will be of interest to children as well as older people. A Punch-and-Judy 14show, sack race, climbing rod, Swabian girls carrying water, and so forth, will be on the program. The seven Swabians who were overlooked yesterday will be present today. A prize is to be given to the two children dressed most nicely in Swabian fashion.
Today, typical Swabian meals, sauerkraut and dumplings, will be served, as well as wine, beer, and other refreshments. Finally; the festival pillar, built of fruit, the "Pillar of Plenty," will be raided!
II B 1 c 3, II C, III H, V A 1
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