GermanFest Royalty a reminder of roots

Wendy Werner

If you have passion for embracing German ancestry (being German not required), representing Syracuse in area parades and having fun, you can be the next Syracuse royalty.

 Appointment of royalty is an annual rite at the Syracuse GermanFest celebration. Selected royalty include a GermanFest King, Queen and Burgermeister along with selections for Little Miss and Little Meister.  

The royalty primarily represents Syracuse and the Syracuse Area Chamber of Commerce in area parades as well as participating in local traditions and special events, like Tannenbaum. 

 The monarchy system was abolished in Germany in 1918, but the King and Queen who represent Syracuse serve as a reminder of the community's German roots.  

Burgermeister means chief magistrate or executive of a city or town.  

Locally, after serving one year, the Burgermeister has the official duties of riding on the past Burgermeister Float, voting for the Burgermeister choice at the Show & Shine Car Show, judging ribs for the Burgermeister’s Choice for RibFest and assisting with tapping the FestKeg at GermaFest.  The Burgermeister also ceremoniously presents a bell to the new Burgermeister.

GermanFest royalty is expected to participate in six required parades a year with additional parades optional.  If you cannot attend a parade or social function, a substitute may be found.

 All girls and boys in first through fourth grade are invited to try out for Little Miss GermanFest and Little Meister GermanFest.  

Fourth grade was added as an exception in 2021 due to the COVID-19 related cancellation of GermanFest in 2020.  Forms may be found at  The forms contain some of the questions the contestants will be asked.  Completed forms may be emailed to or dropped off at First Bank Nebraska by Aug. 16.  For questions, help or more information, call Wendy Werner at 402.432.9759.

GermanFest is Aug. 28, and the Little Miss and Little Meister pageant will be at 8 a.m. in conjunction with the crowning of the King and Queen and announcing the Burgermeister and held at the Otoe County Fair Center at 1st & Plum Streets, Syracuse. There will be no admission fee at the Fair Center and there will also be a pancake feed from 7-10 a.m.   

The first official duties of the royalty will be riding in the GermaFest parade, which starts at 11 a.m.  The GermanFest float parks near 5th and Chestnut Streets and should be there by 10:30 a.m.

Pictured are the members of the 2008-2009 GermanFest Royalty. King and Queen were Keith and Marie Goering., Burgermeister was Dean Fisk. Little Miss GermanFest  was Madeline Werner.