Decoration Ideas for a German Food Festival

by Petra Turnbull
Decorative beer steins are one idea to use at a German food festival.

Decorative beer steins are one idea to use at a German food festival.

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Festivals with a German theme have become increasingly popular in the U.S., giving an opportunity to display various dishes and drinks from the country. German food has a rustic appeal; its staples are meats, sausages and basic greens, mainly various kinds of cabbages and root vegetables. While German food focuses more on comfort rather than presentation and looks, festival stands and stalls can make up for any visual shortcomings of the dishes by displaying German ornaments and decorations.

Beer Steins and Boots

Germans drink beer with anything edible and take great pride in their beer steins and beer boots, which are decorative items with a practical use. It is therefore natural to decorate a table with traditional German food with beer steins or glass boots. Traditional German beer glasses, steins and boots were available from $10 at date of publication.

Wine Cups and Pewters

Germans do not necessarily drink their wine out of glasses, but use pewter goblets or heavily decorated ceramic cups. In addition, the Rhineland region, from which much German wine originates, produces striking wine glasses with bright green bases. German wine-drinking containers are decorative and suitable for presentation with German food. Pewter goblets at the time of publication cost around $70 and up. Ceramic German wine cups are available in the U.S. only secondhand through auction houses and, sometimes, in thrift shops where prices start at about $10. Traditional German Rhine wine glasses are available through German import shops for about $14 per piece.


Standees, or photo-opportunity backdrops, with reference to German culture and custom can make eyecatching decorations for a food festival. Party suppliers sell several types in various sizes, mainly with a reference to the traditional Oktoberfest, an annual beer festival in Munich. At time of publication, standees were available for between $60 and $130.

Wooden Toys

Germany has a long tradition of wooden toys, and German nutcrackers are the most famous examples of that heritage. For a food festival, wooden German farm animal nutcrackers are a good idea, next to typical German figures of policemen in the traditional green uniforms, customarily dressed craftsmen or a figure of a cook. At time of publication, these wooden toys cost from $20 up.

Flags and Stickers

Online shops specializing in German and international decorations sell a large variety of German flags in all shapes and sizes. For table decorations, vendors sell cascade centerpieces with the colors of the German flag as well as small flag picks for directly decorating food. In addition, you can choose to dress the food stall or stand with balloons in the flag colors of black, red and gold. 50 German flag picks at time of publication cost about $1.50, while a table centerpiece was available for about $4. Flags started at 99 cents for the smallest.

About the Author

Based in the U.K., Petra Turnbull has been working as a journalist since 1989. Her articles on the film and book trades have been published in "Screen International," "Dagens Naringsliv," "Film Magasinet" and other Scandinavian newspapers and magazines. She now manages her own book shop. Turnbull holds degrees in law and economics from Goethe University, Germany and Oslo Business School in Norway.

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