Two popular events celebrating German culture in central Ohio have been planned for consecutive weekends.
Schmeckfest, offering a seemingly endless smorgasbord of German food, returns Saturday, April 27, to Columbus' Brewery District, and a concert featuring traditional music is planned May 5 in St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in German Village.
Diners can get their fill of homemade cabbage rolls, schnitzel, sauerbraten, rouladen, potato pancakes, desserts and beyond from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Germania Singing and Sport Society, 543 S. Front St.
Ticket are $15 at germaniacolumbus.org or $18 at the door. Children 5 and younger will be admitted free.
The Dammenchor, the women's singing choir of the Germania, will play host for the event, with other club members pitching in to cook and help serve, said Kathleen Megown, a singer with the group.
Thea Klabunde, who started Schmeckfest about 10 years ago, said she got the idea from a German-lifestyle magazine and thought it would be a good fit in central Ohio.
A portion of proceeds from the event are given to charities locally and abroad, and the remainder goes to the Dammenchor, Klabunde said.
Sidelined by a shoulder injury, Klabunde will not be cooking this year, but she said her liver dumplings and semolina dumplings – made with her recipes – would be part of the lineup.
"It's a lot of work, but we enjoy it," she said.
Megown said this year's Schmeckfest will be moved to a Saturday, instead of the traditional Sunday.
"From the beginning it was so popular and the food was so good we haven't changed," Megown said. "It's still the same quality and flavor of the food, but we've changed the flow to make serving customers quicker and better.
"Restaurants do a fine job and they're wonderful, but this is genuine, cooked by people who make this food as a way of life. You can't get that anywhere else."
Schmeckfest will have an open bar with domestic, German and craft beers available on draft and by the bottle, Megown said. The outdoor bier garten will be open if the weather cooperates, she said.
Traditional and folk German music will be performed by Hauskapelle, the Germania's five-member band.
In other news, the United German Singing Societies of Central Ohio will perform a free concert May 5 in the recently reopened St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, 684 S. Third St.
It is free and open to the public, but a goodwill offering will be accepted.
The concert will feature choruses from the Columbus Maennerchor, the Germania Singing and Sport Society, the Mendelssohn Liedertafel and the Alphorn Gruezie, a group of alphorn players.
St. Mary was closed for 2 1/2 years after a lightning strike that damaged the building revealed serious structural flaws. It reopened April 14.
"It's the first sort of major event following Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday at St. Mary," Megown said. "We're so proud to be able to do that."