The German-American Steuben Parade is one of the premier NYC parades that is held on the third Saturday in September. The Parade with its thousands of participants is observed by hundreds of thousands of viewers along Fifth Avenue from 65th St to 86th St in Manhattan.
The German-American Steuben Parade was founded in 1957 by German immigrants who wanted to keep their traditions alive and showcase German culture in the Big Apple. The parade was named after Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, a general who fought along George Washington in the American Revolutionary War. He also helped train the American troops to win against the British. Cornflower or Kornblume is one of the symbols of the Parade distributed every year among the audience and appearing on the Parade Souvenirs.
The German-American Steuben Parade features floats from German clubs in Queens, the cadets of German Language Club of the Military Academy of West Point, and German groups wearing their traditional costumes, marching bands, dancers, and organizations from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Canada.
The main highlight of the celebration is Miss German-America appearance, who is leading the Parade down Fifth Avenue. The beauty queen is supposed to visit Germany after her coronation in May. On the Parade Day, she appears at a mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral followed by a ride up Fifth Avenue on a decorated float. The procession is also led by a Grand Marshal, who is chosen for contribution to the German-American community.
One of the best spots to cheer for the marchers is the Grand Stand at Fifth Avenue and E 78th Street. The Grand Stand tickets cost $15 plus extra fees.