German imported beers, wines, music, plenty of schnitzel and even a fountain of youth – were highlights of the 140th annual Volksfest at Cannstatter Volksfest Verein Park this Labor Day weekend. Located at 9130 Academy Road, this three-day festival is the oldest German Volksfest in the United States. It drew in an estimated 12,000 attendees this year to the Cannstatter Club’s section of the Academy Gardens.
Cannstatter Park was packed with brewery stands, vendors selling imported German goods such as cuckoo clocks and nesting dolls, and carnival rides for children. Keeping with German tradition, the Fruchtsauke, or fruit column, the symbol and centerpiece of the Volksfest, welcomed the guests. This work of craftsmanship, built by Director Gustav Plankenhorn and his crew, was assembled using fresh fruit and vegetables.
On Saturday and Monday night people gathered to watch the Altweibermuhle, or the “True Fountain of Youth.” Old women approached a makeshift grain chute and when the magician, Wondermiller, performed his magic, the women were pushed down the chute and emerge 20 years younger. German bands also volunteered to provide live music for the festival.
All the proceeds from the event went to the organization, one of the oldest and largest German-American clubs in Philadelphia with a total of 500 members. For more information on Cannstatter Volksfest Verein and to view its calendar of events visit www.cvvphilly.com.