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Steuben Parade Draws Global Crowd For Celebrating German-American Pride

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TWC News: Steuben Parade Draws Global Crowd For Celebrating German-American Pride
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The German-American Steuben Parade made its way through Manhattan on Saturday, as thousands of Germans from around the city and all over the world came out to celebrate their heritage. NY1's Erin Clarke filed the following report.

As far back as Nicole Oberheim can remember, she's been part of the Steuben Parade celebrating German culture.

"It's just part of our culture," Oberheim said. "We were born into it mostly through our parents and my grandparents emigrated in the 1920s and 1930s, so it's just a set of traditions that we keep up today."

Now, Oberheim is passing the torch to her little ones, who dress up in Bavarian costumes and walk Fifth Avenue.

The Steuben Parade is 56 years strong, and part of what keeps the event going is the large German population in the United States.

More Americans trace their roots back to Germany than any other country.

"My mom's marching, my aunt's marching, all of my cousins are marching, so we're watching, right?" said parade participant Andrea Archul.

"We're watching all the way," said another participant.

The parade draws people from outside of New York, including Germans from their homeland, who make their way to Manhattan to participate or watch the colorful floats, musicians and groups in traditional costumes go by.

"For me, this parade is to celebrate the friendship between America and Germany in general. But for me personally it's representing the friendship between Freeport, Long Island and Waldorf, my hometown, which Freeport is our sister city," said parade participant Maximilian Bowitz.

There was also a French presence at this year's event, as the parade celebrated peace between the two countries.

"I think the wonderful thing is that they're commemorating 1963, when the French and the Germans decided to make peace forever between Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer came to the point that there should be no war between the French and the Germans," said parade participant Andrew Kotchoubey.

There were also thousands of spectators who weren't German at all, but proudly waved the flag and enjoyed all the event had to offer.

After the parade ended, the German festivities continued at a beer garden, or "biergarten" as the Germans say, in Central Park.

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