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Around the Maypoles in Gretna

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What would Maifest be without a Maypole dance? In honor of Gretna’s annual Maifest celebration on May 14 and 15, 2021, the city installed two Maypoles with colorful ribbons, on the Huey P. Long Avenue neutral ground near the German-American Cultural Center.

The GACC held its Maifest Beer Garden on Saturday, May 15, on the center’s Fifth Street parking lot. While a German band played traditional songs, hundreds of visitors enjoyed grilled brats, homemade sauerkraut and baked pretzels, along with German beer and wine.

But on Friday morning, May 14, it’s a tradition that children from nearby Lily White Ruppel School take a break from classes and gather at the Maypoles to learn a dance using the colored ribbons. The mayor of Gretna, Belinda Constant, teaches the children how to dance around the Maypoles and wrap the ribbons on the poles. GACC member and musician Eric Hahn played his accordion for the young dancers.

After the dances were finished, volunteers from the GACC treated the youngsters, teachers and visitors to fresh baked pretzels and water. It was a festive start for the Maifest weekend.

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Visit Our Museum

Step inside the GACC Museum and go back in time to 1721, when German immigrants first settled in Louisiana. You’ll learn about the waves of German pioneers that followed them to establish homes, farms and businesses across the river from New Orleans. Entry is free of charge to our museum, open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday.