Ground-Breaking Ceremony BG James Baldwin, commanding general, Berlin Brigade, and Hans-Joachim Schnitzer, mayor of the American sector district of Zehlendorf, officially signal the beginning of construction of the 1967 German-American Volksfest at the ground breaking ceremony April 11 at the Sports Center Field. A Spanish soldier watches the ceremony which marked the beginning of the Seventh German-American Volksfest which this year has the theme "Saint Augustine, America's Oldest City."

Largest Annual Community Event will Recreate St. Augustine, Fla.

The Seventh German-American Volksfest theme - - "Saint Augustine, Florida" - - was officially announced Tuesday, April 11, during a ground-breaking ceremony at the Berlin Brigade Sports Center Field. Brigadier General James L. Baldwin, commanding general, Berlin Brigade, and Hans Joachim Schnitzer, Mayor of the American Sector District of Zehlendorf, turned the spade of earth to signal the beginning of construction of the Volksfest village which is to be completed in July. The Volksfest is the U. S. Army's largest annual community relations event in Berlin. Annually, a part of America's history and culture is recreated in Berlin for 16 days. This year's Volksfest will run from July 22 through August 6, recreating "St. Augustine, Florida - the Oldest City in the United States." After General Baldwin and Mayor Schnitzer officially broke the ground in front of the four flags that have flown over Saint Augustine - Spanish, British, Confederate and the United states- representatives of the Berliner Kindl Brewery presented General Baldwin with a check for 12,000 DM to help in the construction of the village. Lieutenant Colonel Thomas C. Clary, Volksfest director, and Siegfried Zarske, Volksfest architect and builder, then escorted the dignitaries to a model of the Volksfest village and pointed out the buildings and their proposed locations. The ceremony ended as refreshments were served by the Harnack House and Berliner Kindl. This year's historical Volksfest presentation will recreate "Saint Augustine, Florida," which was founded by the Spanish in 1565. Mr. Siegfried Zarske is again responsible for designing and building the Volksfest's American historical village. This is the sixth German-American Volksfest for which Mr. Zarske has served as architect and builder. Saint Augustine was named by Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles, Spain's number one admiral. He chose that name because he had first sighted Florida on August 28th, Saint Augustine's Day. It might be said that American history began at Saint Augustine since the founding and settling of Saint Augustine occurred 55 years before the Pilgrim fathers landed at Plymouth Rock, and more than 40 years before the English founded James-town. When the American Revolution began in 1775, Saint Augustine was already an "ancient city" of 210 years, Recreated at the Volksfest will be the famous old City Gates of Saint' Augustine which for many years guarded the drawbridge across the moat over which the city was entered from the north. A fascade of the old fort- The Castillo de San Marcos- will also be reconstucted. Work on the original fort was begun in 1672 and took 24 years to complete. The oldest wooden school house in America will also be recreated in the Volksfest village as will the oldest surviving house in Saint Augustine and the Mission of Nombre de Dios (Church of the Name of God). A replica of the legendary "Fountain of Youth," which the Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon reportedly sought near Saint Augustine, will also be reconstructed at the Seventh German-American Volksfest. The Sixth German-American Volksfest, held in 1966, set an all- time record for the huge community relations event as more than 440,000 people passed through the gates to observe "The Alamo" recreated in Berlin. All proceeds derived from the Volksfest are donated to local youth groups and various other charitable organizations. Coincidental with the Volksfest ground-breaking ceremony in Berlin, the city of Saint Augustine, Florida was designated the "VOLKS-FEST CITY" in a proclamation by' the Honorable John D. Bailey, mayor-commissioner of Saint Augustine. In part the proclamation read- "I, John D. Bailey, Mayor of the City of Saint Augustine, in the state of Florida, do hereby proclaim and designate Saint Augustine, Florida "VOLKSFEST CITY" for the period of April 11 through August 6, 1967, in recognition of the honor paid to our community by this recreation of the Nation's Oldest City, and as a sign both of our friendship for the German people in Berlin and our desire o join with them wholeheartedly in celebrating the 1967 German-American Volksfest." The 298th Army Band entertained with Spanish-type music at the ground-breaking ceremony, and among the guests were members of the Volksfest Committee and Mr. Hans Purwin, the Volksfest concessionaire.

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