by Erinn Burgess
U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz Public Affairs
More than 3,000 people, by city estimates, attended Baumholder’s 2nd
German-American Friendship Fest Sunday with the motto “Two neighbors celebration — a festival of one heart.”
The varied entertainment program in the fest tent included oompah bands, cheerleading, fasching dancers, square dancers, singers, and the United States Air Forces in Europe Wings of Dixie Band. In addition, there were free games and rides for children, more than 40 street-food vendors, and information stands for local private organizations, institutions, and businesses.
The fest began with a German-American ecumenical service. Baumholder Military Community Chaplain Maj. Matthew Stuart, together with Sabine Knieling, representing the local Protestant Parish, and Agnes Kutscher from the local Catholic Parish conducted the worship, which was musically supported by the local Baumholder church choir.
U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz Commander Col. Jason Edwards and 16th Sustainment Brigade Commander Col. Scott Kindberg joined City Mayor Guenther Jung and District Mayor Bernd Alsfasser to officially open the festivities with the traditional keg-tapping ceremony. Many commanders, Command Sergeants Major and senior leaders of the Baumholder Military Community attended the opening ceremony.
Alsfasser thanked the 16th SB who, together with the Theater Logistics Support Command, supported the fest with a large tent. “Without your support, this fest would not have been possible,” said the mayor, also thanking Col. Edwards and his Deputy Garrison Manager Jim Bradford, for the cooperation between the Provost Marshall Office and the local German Polizei. “Cpt. Brandon Dinger and his staff together with the Polizei Chief Bodo Kirsch and his police officers ensured security during the festival. Many thanks for this help.” In addition, the garrison’s Directorate of Public Works provided light carts at the event.
The festivities ended with fireworks at the Baumholder city lake.