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Event set to celebrate German-U.S. heritage
Orange County historic site to host German-American celebration Saturday

Date published: 10/3/2012

BY CLINT SCHEMMER

It must be that autumn crispness in the air.

Fredericksburg's Oktoberfest is barely over, but the area's hoopla over German heritage continues.

This Saturday, the public is invited to a family-friendly occasion in Orange County commemorating the 25th anniversary of national German-American Day.

The Germanna Visitor Center on State Route 3 at the Rapidan River welcomes those interested in picnicking, guided walks, folk song, genealogy and history to come and enjoy themselves.

From 1 to 4 p.m., the Memorial Foundation of the Germanna Colonies in Virginia will host performances of German songs and folk dances by Culpeper High School's German students; children's activities and guided walks along the Rapidan River in the foundation's 180-acre Siegen Forest; and an introduction to the recreational Germanna Volkssporting Association.

The public is welcome to bring picnics, explore the grounds and four miles of hiking trails, and tour the foundation's museum and research library.

The nonprofit foundation preserves the heritage of German immigrants who settled the Virginia Piedmont in Colonial times--building Fort Germanna, the former governor's palatial home and Spotsylvania's first county seat. Its database includes 90,000 Germanna descendants.

The holiday, proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan, commemorates German-Americans' contributions to the nation's culture and society. One in four Americans has German ancestors.

The Brawdus Martin Germanna Visitor Center is at 2062 Germanna Highway in Locust Grove. For details, call 540/423-1700, email
Email: foundation@germanna.org or visit germanna.org.

Clint Schemmer: 540/368-5029
Email: cschemmer@freelancestar.com