Newspaper Articles from Täglicher Buffalo Demokrat und Weltbürger [the Daily Buffalo Democrat and World Citizen of Buffalo, N.Y.] and the Syracuse Union from Syracuse, N.Y. in celebration of Summer.
Täglicher Buffalo Demokrat und Weltbürger, Wednesday, June 20, 1855 - Page 3, middle; column 3
Täglicher Buffalo Demokrat und Weltbürger, Saturday, June 30, 1855 - Page 2, top; column 1
Editor: Carl de Haas
Saturday, June 30th
The St. John's Festival
As far as we could determine, everyone was happy. It was yet another beautiful slice of German life and a wonderful remembrance of the old beloved fatherland. At 1 o'clock the assembled army of our ever-active Turners [gymnasts] returned with banners held high; at the head of the parade there was a veritable chorus of drummers, also Turners, under the direction of Messrs. Schulz and Schugen, who led the band. The festival location began to fill up and all impatiently awaited the arrival of the Turners, whose music one heard resounding in the distance about 2 o'clock. The Turners' singing chorus began its performance at 2:30 with a pleasant song composed by Mr. Egenter for the occasion. Written copies of the song were distributed to the audience. Mr. Baethig gave the festival address, which was short and to the point and received enthusiastic applause.
From then on gymnastics exercises, games, dances, theatrical presentations and comic parodies alternated in colorful succession; overall, people saw life and joy and the field of accomplishments reflected every segment of the society. Girls amused themselves by tossing the stick bird and carried away various prizes in triumph to their happy parents; a half-dozen boys, submerged in sacks up to their shoulders, competed to see who could reach the finish line first; in another location a number of lads competed to see who, after many vain attempts, could climb up to the top of the greased pole.
The Turners performed extraordinary feats and contributed much to the amusement of the public. The 30-man pyramid built by the Turners aroused enthusiastic applause. The gymnastics students' competition was well received. The following young gymnasts received prizes:
The pantomine drew in a large audience and put it in the happiest of moods. Mr. Meyer is a master organizing such theatrical performances. The open-air theater was beautifully decorated. The parody was enormously successful and received well-deserved praise; Mr. M. as King Humbug richly deserved his pretzel crown. The fireworks couldn't have been more diverse; the committee in charge of the timing of the firings deserves praise.
The musical chorus under the direction of Mr. Schugen pleased the dancers and the music-lovers alike; the hard work and effort that went into this reflects favorably back on the scheduling committee.
Mr. Westphal tastefully decorated his house on the inside and out and his new carousel garnered high praise from its young riders.
The lighting, executed by Mr. Westphal, was tasteful and bright. Lager beer was consumed in extraordinarily large quantities and we have been assured that the quality of this noble barley brew was nothing to sneeze at. The service rendered by the waiters left no wish unfulfilled and we heard no complaints in this regard. We close our report with the following lines from a long article written in yesterday's Republic, whose local editor, Mr. Faxon, covered the festival with the greatest interest:
|Syracuse Union, September 2, 1920, p.8
The ban against the St. John's Eve Bonfire by the Jena Police Department brings to mind a similar ban instituted during Goethe's time. More than a hundred years ago during the time of the French occupation, the bonfire was also banned. A group of disappointed youths went to Goethe, highly favored by the regime at the time, and asked for his assistance. And Goethe helped. A few days later an official decree appeared in the newspaper announcing the lifting of the ban. Underneath the announcement (and not official) stood the following verse by Goethe:
May St. John's Bonfire no longer be banned,
Imaging and translation by Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks