Cleveland Landestreffen in 3 Perspectives

This year we decided to ask three of our members to write short articles about out trip to Cleveland for the Landestreffen der Donauschwaben. We hope you enjoy reading these three perspectives below from three great writers, Marlene Fricker, Emma Walter, & Betty Wagner.

On Friday, September 3rd, we packed ourselves into two mega vans and were on the road to another weekend of Spass, Kameraderie and much more! About 25 persons in total, we were headed for Cleveland, and the Annual Landestreffen. Like so many other annual events during the pandemic, the last Treffen held was in 2019, so it had been a while since we had seen our many Danube Swabian friends.

Early Saturday morning, a few of us gathered at the Cleveland club for a Verband Presidents’ meeting, taking care of some business that needed tending to, and shortly after that the fun began. As is usual, the festivities began with a Parade, Introductions, Youth/Jugend Ensemble dance on the main soccer field and then to the good stuff:  Music, Dancing, Eating and Drinking!

On Saturday and Sunday, there are always multiple bands and many dance groups that take turns entertaining the crowd. Although the crowd was expectedly smaller this year, and the dance groups as well, there was no disappointing from the performers! Everyone gave it their everything!

Our group performed on Sunday, three dances; Wein: Polka, Windmüller and a Czardas. We were well received and received quite a few very nice compliments. We finished Sunday night with an after-party in our hotel hosted by the Milwaukee Donauschwaben and the United German Hungarians. A perfect end to the two-day event!

Come Monday morning, we were all ready to get on the road, another Fest come and gone, until next year… by the way, next year on Labor Day Weekend, the Landestreffen will be in Trenton New Jersey, See you all there!

Marlene Fricker

The Landestreffen 2021 in Cleveland couldn’t have gone any better — the weather was beautiful, we got to reunite with friends that we’ve only gotten to communicate with virtually, and we were able to fill our weekend with wonderful dancing and music!

After the Treffen was canceled last year due to covid, we were all eager to attend this year’s, even if it might look a little different. I was especially excited to attend since I hadn’t been to this event in 5 years due to being in school.

For most of us, this was the first time performing in quite some time. I love sitting right up next to the dance floor to watch all the other groups perform, each group bringing their own style to the floor.

Throughout the weekend, there was rarely a quiet moment. One person would start singing and the next would join in and so on. Even if you didn’t know all the words, we would all be swaying together, laughing a little when you realized we skipped a verse.

The energy that emulated from all the dancers and event-goers shows how much we all truly enjoy our Donauschwaben culture. We show it through the outfits we wear, the songs we sing, and the dances we perform. I am so proud and thankful to be part of such a great community filled with family and friends.

Emma Walter

This past Labor Day we finally had the opportunity to go to the Donauschwaben Landestreffen in Cleveland, OH. For us this was always an impossible trip. You just don’t take off Labor Day weekend when you work in technology for a school district. We decided it was now a perfect time to not only go to the Treffen but visit the surrounding area of Ohio.

The weather was beautiful for an outdoor festival. It was very exciting to see so many young people from so many clubs across the USA get to meet up again. It’s a shame the dance groups from Canada were not able to attend due to virus border restrictions.

Saturday started with a parade of the clubs and their participants ending on their soccer field for obligatory speeches and awards. The participants then gathered for one large, unified dance of Drah-de-Rum. It was quite chilling to watch so many young Donauschwaben “Madchen und Bube” having a great time as they performed. It looked like they were trying to break a Guinness Book world record.

The days were jam packed with performances. Every 15 minutes a group showcased their talents and obviously tried to outdo each other.

We were very excited to get the opportunity to rekindle friendships once again with Donauschwaben from Cleveland that we haven’t seen in over 44 years.

A great time was held by all drinking, eating, dancing and singing. We hope to see everyone again – including the Canadians in Trenton next year.

Betty Wagner

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