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Chicago to celebrate its German heritage at Mayfest 2014

Lincoln Square will usher in the summer with German food, live music, and maypole dancing.
Lincoln Square will usher in the summer with German food, live music, and maypole dancing.
Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Get ready to bust out your lederhosen, Chicago. Mayfest 2014 is fast approaching.

From Thursday, May 29th to Sunday, June 1st, Mayfest Chicago (or Maifest, for those who prefer a more authentic feel) will bring live music, food, dancing, and other forms of entertainment to Lincoln Square at Lincoln and Leland Avenue. The May Fest Committee sponsors this event every year to promote Chicago’s German heritage. A non-profit organization, the May Fest Committee hosts Mayfest Chicago to benefit a number of German organizations in the Chicago area, including the DANK HAUS German-American Cultural Center (, the American Aid Society of German Descendants (, the Donauschwaben Youth Group (, German American Policy, and others.

Mayfest derives its origins from the traditional German celebration of the maypole, which even today heralds the arrival of spring in Germany with the decoration of a unique maypole that highlights the history and culture of each local village. Like Octoberfest, Mayfest has become a popular celebration in the United States as well, particularly in cities with vibrant German populations.

This year’s Mayfest Chicago marks the celebration’s fifteenth year of bringing German food, live music, a traditional maypole dance, and German heritage presentations to Lincoln Square. The festivities will include an official opening ceremony, which involves a traditional keg tapping and crowning of this year’s May Queen, on Friday, May 30th at 8:00pm and a German-American Ethnic Program on Sunday, June 1st at 1:00pm.

A number of local Chicago bands that specialize in German music will also play on two stages starting at 6:00pm on Thursday, May 29th and going through 7:30pm on Sunday, June 1st. Fans of all varieties of German music, from the traditional polka to more modern sounds, can jam to Flaptop, the Captain Blood Transfusion, Phenix, Polkaholics, Paloma, Dr. Zylo and the Braniacs, Uncle Bob and the Bluzers, Pindrop Theatre, Die Perlen, and Country Doctors.

For a full festival schedule and more details on the background of Mayfest Chicago, visit

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