Archive for Sunday, September 8, 2002

September 8, 2002


Beer, polka and bratwurst are not the usual fare at a church fund-raiser. Of course, Oompahfest is no regular fund-raiser.

Immanuel Lutheran Church will sponsor its second annual Oompahfest from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the west side of South Park.

German music will be a large part of the festival. The Alpen Spielers, a polka band that has toured Europe, will play in the afternoon. A large wooden dance floor will be erected for dancing, and polka lessons will be offered from noon to 1 p.m. Before the band begins, guests can listen to an accordion player.

Oompahfest also will feature authentic German food, including potato salad, bratwurst, sauerkraut and a variety of desserts. Games, face painting and balloons will be available to children.

John Fries, chairman of Oompahfest, said the festival is a good way to celebrate German culture.

"It does tie into our roots a little more," Fries said. "Our motto during this time is 'Eat, drink and be German'."

Oompahfest also will feature a raffle drawing. The winner will receive a trip for two on a Rhine River Cruise in Germany. The cruise begins in Amsterdam, Holland, and travels for eight days through the German countryside before ending at the foot of the Alps.

Fries said the focus of the event is to provide a place for families to come together as a community and have fun.

"(Oompahfest) has grown out of a desire for the church to become more involved with the Lawrence community and show how much we appreciate being in Lawrence. It's a party for the whole town," Fries said.

The event is free and open to the public. Several tents will be put up, so regardless of weather, the polka music and dancing will go on.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the church's building fund. For more information, call the church office at 843-0620.

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