Because the USA is a nation of immigrants, festivals and celebrations of the “old countries” abound, especially during the warmer summer months in the Midwest section of the country. Maybe because it provides a chance to touch bases with our heritage, or even conduct some genealogy research, these occasions keep alive the traditions, customs, and cuisine from our ancestors.
Of course “everybody can be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day” but others celebrations also come to mind: Czech Days in Tabor, South Dakota; Scandinavian Days in Story City, Iowa; Sauerkraut Days in Ackley, Iowa … and the list goes on. But I just learned of a fascinating one that connects directly with one line of my maternal ancestry: Heritage Weekend & Luxembourg Fest of America held August 11-14 in Belgium, Wisconsin.
Unfortunately, other commitments prevent my attending this year, but the festival looks appealing. And the Research Center appears to have church records that may help fill in some blanks in my family tree. But most intriguing is the Mamer-Hansen Luxembourgian stone barn, completed in 1872 by Jacob Mamer, that now houses the Roots and Leaves Museum. (Although the Mamer name is in my ancestry, I haven’t <yet> found a connection to this Jacob Mamer.)
Updated August 7: Thanks to Bev, I have determined Anton Friedrich Mamer (my seventh-great grandfather AND my eighth great-grandfather on another line) was also the 2nd great-grandfather of Jacob Mamer (1810-1888). That means Jacob and I are 5th cousins once removed (and 6th cousins once removed).
Immigrants from Luxembourg settled heavily in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa. Later generations spread across the country, but the earliest records and stories lie in the Midwest. And that is worth celebrating.
(Thanks, Bev, for passing this information on to me.)