The New York Times/End of the Volksfest
END OF THE VOLKSFEST
Another Immense Crowd at the Union Hill Schuetzen Park.
FRITZ REUTER MEMORIAL HOME DAY
Damage by the Storm Speedily Repaired—Coronation of Shooting and Bowling Kings—Winners of Contests.
UNION HILL, N.J., Sept. 1.—The twenty-first annual Plattdütsch Volksfest came to a successful close at a late hour to-night. The immense attendances of the previous days were again equaled, and at sundown at least 30,000 persons had passed the gates of the Union Hill Shuetzen Park. The crowd had evidently come with the sole intent of enjoying the day, and not a disagreeable incident occurred to mar the pleasures of the Volksfest.
Success has been the rule of these reunions for years, but the outcome of the twenty-first annual festival takes precedence over all the others as far as to the number in attendance, and as to the pleasant manner in which it transpired. The amusements, games, and special features outnumbered and outranked those at past festivals.
To-day was Fritz Reuter day, and the totalwill go to the fund for the memorial home of the popular Plattdeutsche poet. The crowd knew that the money received was to swell the capital of the association, which will build the home for the aged and indigent, and the result was that more liberality was displayed than on any previous day of this fest.
The shooting stands were visited by throngs of marksmen, who kept the targets in use continually. The bowling alleys would not have had an idle moment if they had had double their capacity. The storm of yesterday razed all the booths in the vicinity of Lake Reuter, and the theatres and pavilions along the Midway Plaisance were a mass of ruins when the park was reached in the morning. At least twenty-five large oak trees in the north-western section of the park were felled by the storm.
At the time the gates were thrown open, about 1 o'clock P. M., little of the wreckage was to be seen, as he grounds had been cleared of the debris and temporary sheds had been provided for the booth holders and tents substituted for the Persian Theatre, Streets of Cairo, and other amusement places. The rapidity with which the damage had been repaired surprised those that knew the extent of it, but the crowd saw no traces of it.
At the "castle" an unusually large crowd was present all afternoon and night, and the dancing pavilions came in for more than their share of business. Maggie Epstein's souvenirs netted a neat little sum. Her personal popularity with he Plattdeutsche, and the attractive design of the aluminium cups and saucers, appropriately inscribed in dialect, swelled the receipts materially. Long before nightfall the large supply had been exhausted, and bonuses were offered for them.
At the officers' headquarters many prominent visitors were entertained. Among these none received a heartier reception than Judge C. Botty, who was recently appointed by Gov. Morton to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of Judge Simon M. Ehrlich. Judge Botty was busy receiving the congratulations of his many Plattdeutsche friends.
Thefor shooting king on the target of honor was won by William Weber of Jersey City by a score of 48 out of a possible 54. The coronation and presentation of the King's Medal was conducted by President William F. Grell, and evoked many vociferous plaudits. D. Frers carried off the honor of bowling king, and the ceremonies connected with this victory were also conducted by President Grell, and were witnessed by a very large audience.
The fifteen prizes for team bowling were won by the following clubs, by these scores: First—Fidelio, 401; Second—Spartan, 447; Third—Rosedale, 434; Fourth—Orchard, 425; Fifth—Empire, No. 1, 403; Sixth—, 400; Seventh—Arlington, 370; Eight—West Shore, No. 2, 354; Ninth—West Shore, No. 1, 351; Thirteenth—Empire., No. 2, 329; Fourteenth—Hudson, 327; Fifteenth—Excelsior, No. 2, 304.
The performance of Herr Granada on the high wire had an additional attraction for the crowd to-day. Just before the close of his performance he threw 1,000 numbered tickets in the air, once of which was to entitle the holder to a gold watch. The crowd made a lively scramble for the tickets, and at the finish of the wire walking the winning number was placed in front of the officers; headquarters. The fortunate person was Charles Luchsinger of 413 Dodd Street, West Hoboken, who held ticket No. 313. To Herr Granada was presented a handsome gold medal by President Grell, on behalf of the Plattdütsch Volksfest Vereen.
The medal consists of a shield, on which is embossed the figure of a man on a rope, with balancing pole in hand. The shield is suspended from a heavy bay, on which is engraved "Herr Granada." The back of the shield contains this inscription: "Plattdütsch Volksfest Vereen, New-York, September 1, 1895." Much applause followed this presentation, and many bumpers were drunk to the health of the popular performer.
The balloon ascension and drop with a parachute was again successfully carried out by Prof. Frink, the ladies' tub races caused much merriment, as also did the attempts of the boys to climb the greasy poles, and the other mirth-provoking sports and games.
The closing feature of the Volksfest was a magnificent display of fireworks, among which were some large and handsome set pieces. After the piece "Good Night" had been set off, there were three hearty cheers given for Plattdütsch Volksfest Vereen and its efficient officers.