What to Look Forward to at this Year's Maifest

 Representing the German, Austrian and Swiss club at Club Row on Thursday, April 26 were club members, (left) Ariana Castillo, Elizabeth Pertschi, Dr. Annelise Gerl, Samuel Lukey (front), and Administrative Assistant, Michelle Harrison (right). (Photo Courtesy of the German, Austrian and Swiss club.) 

Representing the German, Austrian and Swiss club at Club Row on Thursday, April 26 were club members, (left) Ariana Castillo, Elizabeth Pertschi, Dr. Annelise Gerl, Samuel Lukey (front), and Administrative Assistant, Michelle Harrison (right). (Photo Courtesy of the German, Austrian and Swiss club.) 

Maifest, also known as MayFest, is a German celebration for the month of May coming to the Santa Monica College (SMC) main campus Quad this Thursday, May 24. The German, Swiss and Austrian club will host the event that will take place between 11:15 a.m. and 12:35 p.m. and include games, dancing, free pizza and more.

MaiFest has been celebrated at SMC for 12 years but has been a German tradition since the 18th century, according to Dr. Anneliese Gerl, the club's founder and a professor who teaches German at SMC. “Maifest is actually a much bigger celebration than Oktoberfest, but not a lot of people have heard about it before. The month of May means the beginning of spring, so we welcome the new season.”

Free pizza, Red Bull, and German, Austrian and Swiss chocolate will be served, along with music and games. “We will be asking some cultural questions and participants can win German chocolate,” Gerl said.

Elizabeth Pertschi, President of the German, Austrian and Swiss club, also plans to make some announcements at the festival. “I’m very excited about the event, we’re all gonna be dressing up in our dirndl and lederhosen, which is the traditional clothing of the German-speaking nation, and anyone who would like to dress up can join us as well,” she said. 

At last year’s event, there was a little maypole set up for people to dance around, and Gerl is hoping for it to return this year. “I’m really looking forward to this, and I hope we attract a lot of students, ” she said.

Preparing and planning for the event has taken nearly the whole semester, as the club is its only sponsor. “We are open to sponsors if anyone would like to sponsor, but we are solely sponsoring it right now,” Pertschi said. She presses on the importance in hosting this kind of event at SMC to keep people interested in the German language and to enroll in the German programs offered. “We’d love to have everyone come and experience the Maifest and also to learn more about our German, Austrian and Swiss club, and about the levels of German that we have here at SMC.”

SMC offers levels one through four of German language courses. The German, Austrian and Swiss club meets on Fridays in Drescher Hall Room 201 from 1:45-3 p.m., and Pertschi said everyone is welcome to join.

"As the President of the German, Austrian and Swiss club, I would like to cordially invite all of you to join us in welcoming the spring with our annual Maifest," Pertschi said. "Let's make Maifest 2018 the biggest and best SMC has ever seen."