Hermann, Missouri, was named for Hermann der Cherusker, a German folk hero of the first century who led a successful battle against the Romans that many feel changed the course of history. In 1837, the German Settlement Society of Philadelphia, whose members hoped to establish a colony where their German language and customs could be preserved, founded Hermann and named the town for the young warrior. By the turn of the century, Hermann was a thriving river port and growing wine producer. The Hermann American Viticultural Area was officially designated in 1983, one of the earliest to be recognized by the U.S. government. Hermann hosts many events each year, including Maifest, which featured a historic pageant in the years 1952 through 1964, and Wurstfest, a celebration of the art of German sausage making. Approximately a quarter of a million tourists visit Hermann each year to enjoy a taste of "Little Germany" in the heart of the American Midwest.