Culture

Having been built by German-Americans immigrants, Schuetzen Park quickly became a Mecca for cultural traditions brought from the "old countries" of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

The most obvious tradition that was carried on at the Park was "schuetzen", or target shooting. The Park contained a shooting range (Schiessbahn) with a Shooting House, Target House and Prize Pyramid. The Davenport Schuetzenverein (DSV), which was established in 1868, is still recognized as the oldest, continuously operating "Schuetzenverein" in the United States of America. Early members of the Verein were leaders in Davenport's, social, economic and political realms as well. Other events unique to the Schuetzen Park were the large singing festivals (Saengerfests), which drew audiences of up to 12,000. Turnfests, or athletic competitions between regional "Turnvereins", also drew hundreds of participants and spectators. The last "Turnfest" held at Schuetzen Park was 1923.

From the first weekend in June, when the Park opened for the season, 'till the late fall each year, hundreds would gather in Schuetzen Park nightly to hear concerts from the stage of the Park's world class, Moorish style music pavilion. Popular local bands such Ernst Otto's Band and Jakob Strasser's Band were often joined by out-of-town bands and orchestras.

The cultural traditions of the German speaking countries continue today at Schuetzen Park. Recent events have include: An Evening with Mozart, Kurt Weill - Berlin to Broadway, Volksmarching, German Shepherd Dog Shows, "Musikfests" with performances by bands from all over Germany. Many community groups also use the Park for their outdoor meetings and project days.

Traditional "Bird-Shoot" Held at Schuetzen Park Oktoberfest

Theresa Stelk of Davenport takes aim with a crossbow at the "Kaiser's Adler" at the Schuetzen Park Oktoberfest on Sept. 28th. The traditional "bird-shoot" was part of the day's festivities which included a polka mass, Volksmarch and live German music.

Bavarian Wayside Shrine Added

The Bavarian Wayside Shrine is the newest attraction at the Schuetzen Park. Dedicated in memory of Phyllis Ruth, the Shrine is reminiscent of those found in the foothills of the Alps. Pictured here are: Top row - Leo Ruth, Brady Cale, Austin Cale, Kelly Cale, Maverick Cale. Bottom Row - Parker Ruth, Emma Ruth, Kristin Manion & Gabby Manion. The Shrine can be found in the "Hasenheide" on the far east end of the Park. The Shrine will be blessed on Sept. 24, 2006.

Olde Towne Circus Band Performance

The Olde Towne Circus Band performed on May 27 in the Schuetzen Park before a crowd of 100. Sunshine and perfect temps only amplified the audience's response to tunes such as "Der Wacht am Rhein" and "Wien bleibt Wien." The concert was a first in a series of monthly performances at the Park. The series is underwritten in part by Quad City Arts. The next performance is Sunday, June 17, "Father's Day Concert" featuring the Windjammers Dixieland Jazz Band.

The Barley House Band Plays at the Park

The merry and lively Irish tunes of the Barley House Band filled the "Festplatz" at Schuetzen Park on Sunday, July 26th. About 100 guests attended this second in a series of concerts being held at the Park this summer.

Quad City Brass Quintet Performance

The Quad City Brass Quintet performs under the clear summer sky at the August 29th "Graf Zeppelin Tribute." Around 200 guests attended the event that celebrated the 80th anniversary of the airship's visit to Davenport. Souvenir postcards and ribbons from the event are still available on the "Support" page of this website.