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2014 Anchor Events

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All events subject to change or cancellation due to weather.


Fall 2014 Culture Series

Featured Events

Grillabend: Turkish Night

Friday, August 8
6-9pm, Food served until 8pm

Döner Kebab

The labor shortage during West Germany's 1960s economic boom resulted in large-scale migration of Turks to Germany as Gastarbeiter (guest workers). Though introduced as a temporary program, approximately 5% of Germans now claim at least partial Turkish heritage. Join us in celebrating the diverse cultural flavors of Germany at this special Turkish-themed Grillabend and Member Night.

Live music will be provided by Turkish saz player M. Orhan Ucer, a Minnesota-born and Turkish-raised musician and physician. Enjoy the sounds of traditional folk music as well as popular music while you try Turkish-German specialties like Döner Kebab (a shaved meat sandwich in pita bread), Gemüsetasche (a vegetarian sandwich in pita bread), and baklava, or stick to your GAI favorites of bratwurst and beer.

New Member & Language Student Specials!

All new members who join on Turkish Night will receive a free baklava, so bring a friend and introduce them to the GAI. There will also be a free beer for all students registered for a fall adult language class at the GAI, so make sure you're registered before August 8 to get your free beer and take advantage of our $20 early bird discount!

Blankets and chairs are welcome, but please remember that pets and outside food & drink are prohibited!


Schokokuss Wettessen, Chocolate-covered marshmallow eating contest

Sunday, August 17, 2-5pm
4pm Schulanfang ceremony
Free admission. This event is weather-permitting.

Join our fun back-to-school celebration for the TCGIS and GAI communities. Activities include a bouncy-house, Schokokuss Wettessen (chocolate-covered marshmallow eating contest), lawn games, model trains, and picnic-style food at family-friendly prices. Adults can enjoy cold German beer and a casual, relaxed atmosphere for the whole family.

All incoming kindergarteners are invited to join in the Schulanfang ceremony, honoring the beginning of their school careers. "Der Ernst des Lebens beginnt!"

Walled-In: A West Berlin Girls' Journey to Freedom

Cover of Walled-In

Wednesday, September 10, 7pm
Free and open to the public

Join author J. Elke Ertle for a discussion of her riveting recounting of growing up in post-World War II West Berlin. Through food shortages and the Berlin Airlift, the construction of the Berlin Wall, and John F. Kennedy's Ich bin ein Berliner speech, Ertle interweaves global events with her personal story of a strict but happy childhood. Click here to read more about Ertle's book, Walled-In.

This event is the first installment of our Fall Culture Series.

Herbstfest Heuriger: a celebration of Austrian food & wine


Friday, September 19, 6-9pm

RSVP by September 12

Join us in saying, "Wiederschauen" to summer and a hearty, "Grüß Gott" to fall at our first ever Herbstfest celebration! Inspired by Austria's beloved outdoor wine gardens (Heurigen), we will be featuring authentic Austrian specialities and wines for your enjoyment. Complete with live music from Vienna Community Arts and enhanced Summit Avenue ambiance, you can experience the very best of Viennese Gemütlichkeit without leaving Minnesota.

This event is co-produced by the German American Heritage Foundation.


Ongoing Events

Kaffee & Kuchen

Saturdays, June 21-August 9, 2014
9:30am-Noon, $1 coffee, $2-$3 cake


A summer morning on Summit Avenue is always special! Stop by the GAI on Saturday mornings and say "Guten Morgen!" to the ladies of the Deutscher Damenklub as they serve coffee and hausgemacht cake. Perfect your experience with a leisurely stroll or bike ride on Summit, or even join a Walking Tour at the James J. Hill House.


Stammtisch (German Luncheon)

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
11:45am, $9 members and non-members


Join us the second Tuesday of each month for our German Stammtisch luncheon. Each month we serve a home cooked German meal, prepared by Helga Parnell and her group of volunteers.

We also provide cultural programming in German after the lunch, arranged by Evelyn Klein. This is a great opportunity for natives and non-natives to practice and maintain their German language skills while enjoying great food and Gemütlichkeit.

If you would like to attend, please RSVP to the GAI office by Friday, August 8th. Call 651.222.7027, extension 1, or email the GAI office. Regular attendees can also request to be added to the standing list at that time.


Walpurgisnacht: the Springtime Halloween Photo Exhibit

Free and open to the public


Visit the second floor photo gallery at the GAI and learn about Walpurgisnacht, a Spring festival celebrated throughout northern and central Europe, which has a special flair in Germany.

According to legend, on Walpurgisnacht witches gather on the Hexentanzplatz bei Thale before riding off on their broomsticks to join with the devil. Common celebrations include bonfires and dancing. Like Halloween, the holiday is often characterized by trickery and pranks. More than 100,000 people participate in Walpurgisnacht festivities in the Harz region of Germany every April 30 -- exactly 6 months from Halloween.

This exhibit is part of a rotating gallery on the second floor of the Haus that will feature the culture of the German speaking countries, in addition to the historical photos regularly on display throughout the GAI.