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MAYOR BLOOMBERG ADRESSES THE GERMAN-AMERICAN STEUBEN PARADE COMMITTEE AND GRANTS GERMAN-AMERICAN FRIENDSHIP MONTH PROCLAMATION
On Wednesday, September 2nd, in a very classy and fun filled cocktail reception held for the second year in a row at NYU's Deutsches Haus in lower Manhattan, New York City's Mayor, the Hon. Michael Bloomberg, awarded Parade General Chairman Lars Halter with a Proclamation celebrating the Third Annual German-American Friendship Month to be celebrated throughout the entire month of September in NYC. The reception, attended mostly by the members of the Parade Committee, honored guests, Miss German-America, Grand Marshals and the many Parade sponsors was truly a night to celebrate!
"For the third year in a row we are celebrating German-American Friendship Month - and our cultural festivities are growing every year," said Lars Halter.
On Tuesday, September 1st, the Parade Committee launched this year's Friendship Month by ringing the closing bell at the NASDAQ Stock Exchange in Times Square. A picture featuring 20 Schuhplattler dancers and the German Cornflower was displayed eight stories high over Times Square, and was broadcast around the world to TV stations locally and overseas.
On that very night, the first activity of the month, a reading with HAPE KERKELING, was a huge success. Mr. Kerkeling had to do an encore presentation, because not all fans fit into the theater! Upcoming events feature German food, beer and history, music and the arts, and of course, on September 19th, the 52nd Annual German-American Steuben Parade - one of our greatest parades ever!
During his speech, Mr. Halter released some information concerning this year's Parade. We will welcome 27 groups from Germany and Austria, and we will be led by 4 Grand Marshals, including NYC Congressman Hon. Michael McMahon, Fox 5 Newscaster Ms. Linda Schmidt, A&P Chairman Mr. Christian Haub, and Parade Founder Mr. Ted Dengler. In addition to the 27 groups from overseas and the 4 Grand Marshals, We will show off 25 floats celebrating all aspects of German culture and history in America! Three new ones for this year include:
"Freedom without Walls" - Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a historic feat that ended the Cold War, that would not have been possible without the help, trust and friendship of the citizens of the United States.
40th Anniversary Landing on the Moon - What is so German about that feat, you may ask? The commander of Apollo 11 himself, astronaut Neil Armstrong traces his family roots back to Germany, making him one of the big German-American pioneers of all time!
Homage to Lou Gehrig sponsored by the New York Yankees - Lou Gehrig was born to Heinrich and Christina Gehrig, dirt poor immigrants from Germany, and grew up to become one of the greatest and most beloved baseball players of all times. When his career was cut short by a horrible disease, he Gehrig gave a historic farewell speech, calling himself "the luckiest man on the face of the Earth." That speech was made 70 years ago, making it a very special anniversary that we celebrate.
"Putting together this year's Steuben Parade was a lot of work," said Chairman Halter, "and I would have to thank too many people to name them all. Let me pick two: Geraldine Brand and Herb Seeff, my trusted Vice-Chairs, and let me thank and applaud all others who have done their part in making this parade great!"
In addressing Mayor Bloomberg, Halter commented, "ours is a great Parade, and it fits into a great city. No other city in the world has the flair that New York has, no other place means more to people around the globe. I am just running a little parade; I can not begin to imagine what it must be like to run this entire city! My hat is off to Mayor Bloomberg, who is doing a great job! My deep gratitude to Mayor Bloomberg for being such a good friend to the German-American community. We appreciate all that the City and you are doing for us, and we do our best to give back to the City and to society."
As a final reminder of the evening's festivities and this year's German-American Friendship Month, Chairman Halter presented Mayor Bloomberg with the very exclusive Steuben Parade Stein - a handmade piece from Germany.
"With that, Mr. Mayor, I say PROST!", said Halter.