German pride was out in full force along Fifth Avenue Saturday as the 55th annual Steuben Parade made its way uptown. NY1's Polly Kreisman filed the following report.
Thousands of German revelers began their day after a Steuben Parade Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral, posing for photos and pausing to hear a German band play an anthem.
Meanwhile, thousands lined Fifth Avenue early for a good view of one of New York's most-loved parades.
This is the Steuben's 55th year. And it's Renata Steinke's 55th parade.
"I love the parade," she said. "I used to march in it, too, until I got too old. I said no more. I love the parade. I love the parade!"
Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined German Grand Marshals Nik Wallenda, who walked a tightrope over Niagara Falls and Norbert Schramm, an Olympic speed skater, to lead the parade.
Elaborate costumes, joyous music and bright colors stretched from 68th Street into the 80s. While marchers came from all over the New York metro area, organizers say hundreds came in from Germany for the event.
The party continued at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park with a traditional Oktoberfest celebration and a big, boisterous beer tent.
NY1 learned Saturday that more Americans trace their lineage to Germany than from any other country. And it feels like a lot of them were at this Oktoberfest celebration.
For more information, go to germanparadenyc.org.