Gut Heil!


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TurnfestFifty thousand people attended the festival, both in Carthage and downtown Cincinnati.  The visitors sent dozens of commemorative postcards back home to family and friends, the cards showing not only a view of the events as they happened, but comic cards as well that showed the good time being had with bratwurst and beer.

At the conclusion of the festival, Herrmann declared that there was no financial loss, and in all likelihood would realize a considerable surplus.  Within a few days, the tents were struck and returned to the War Department, from which they had been borrowed, and the stadium on Government Square was razed. Some Cincinnati Turners immediately began planning for the next Turnfest to be held in Denver in 1913.

TurnfestThe festival was filmed, and by that August, the Nord Cincinnati Turnhalle was exhibiting the events to the public.  Over the next year, into October of 1910, stereopticon views and moving pictures would be shown at the Grand Opera House, so Cincinnatians could see once more the 10,000 children and 3,000 athletes in parades and mass exercises.


At the time of the Turnfest, Cincinnati’s middle-class Germans were already leaving Over-the-Rhine and moving to the west side of the city and to the hilltop suburbs of Corryville and Walnut Hills.  The demonstration of German unity and heritage was vital.


Urban sports were gaining an ever-stronger foothold in American culture, and at the same time a Cincinnati German community could celebrate an ethnic bond in the turnfest touchstone.

Postcard from Denver Turnfest

At the conclusion of the Turnfest, local athletes posed for a group photograph as they made their plans to attend Denver’s Turnfest in 1913.