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Blakeview: Deutsches Haus in New Orleans

Oktoberfest runs each weekend through Oct. 21

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Beginning this weekend, you'll find lots of beer and bratwurst and hear the sounds of oompah bands and the chicken dance on Bayou St. John as Deutsches Haus presents its annual Oktoberfest. The group was founded in 1928 as a benevolent and social organization for local Germans. It evolved from other benevolent groups that provided support for German immigrants dating back to the mid-19th century. In 1928, Deutsches Haus dedicated its new clubhouse in a former telephone exchange building at 200 S. Galvez St. The anti-German sentiment of World War II curtailed the club's activities for several years, but it returned in 1947 with a spring Volksfest festival. Oktoberfest also became a favorite at that location for many years. The building was severely damaged in flooding following the 2005 levee failures, but Oktoberfest returned in 2006. In 2011, the building was demolished by the state to make way for the University Medical Center and Veterans Medical Center complex. Deutsches Haus is temporarily located in Metairie but hopes to move into its new building next fall. This year's Oktoberfest will be held at the new building site at 1700 Moss St. each weekend through Oct. 21.

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