If you can’t go to Munich you can still enjoy the festivities of an authentic Oktoberfest right here in Waynedale. The Fort Wayne Männerchor/Damenchor is sponsoring an Oktoberfest Saturday, September 28, at Park Edelweiss, located at 3355 Elmhurst Drive, just east of Elmhurst High School. Doors open at 6:00 pm, just in time to raise a glass of beer or wine before the dinner, consisting of homemade bratwurst, sauerkraut, green beans and kuchen (cake), beginning at 7:00 pm. The cost is $10.00 per person. Music will be provided by Die Perlen, a German band from Chicago. Although they play excellent polka music, they also will take a break and play more current popular music as well.
The Fort Wayne Männerchor/Damenchor will present a concert of German songs after the dinner. This chorus is one of the oldest German singing societies in Indiana. It traces its history back 133 continuous years to the founding of the Fort Wayne Sängerbund on October 4, 1869. By 1898 there were eight singing societies in the city, which eventually consolidated under the name Concordia Gesang Verein, which became the Fort Wayne Männerchor in 1927. The chorus is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of German heritage as expressed in choral music. Women became full members of the chorus in 1997. Of the several societies in the tri-state district, the Männerchor/ Damenchor is one of the few remaining that still performs all its music in German. While many members are German natives, newer singers are second and third generation Americans, with an interest in knowing more about and participating in German cultural activities through the club. The Männerchor/Damenchor is also a member of the four-club group that sponsors the Fort Wayne Germanfest each year.
Directed by Thomas Remenschneider, rehearsals are held every Thursday evening from September through June. One does not have to be German to be a part of the chorus’ activities. They also try to keep the German language in conversation, around the bar and at various educational activities. A concert tour to Germany is planned about every four years, the next one coming up in September 2003.
Park Edelweiss is a relatively new venue in our Waynedale neighborhood. The chorus, along with the German Heritage Society, purchased the building, the former Elmhurst Garden Club, (Lunz’s Barn) about a year and a half ago. This beautiful renovated barn, located on 14 acres of wooded grassland, is also available to rent for receptions, weddings, banquets, parties, reunions and picnics. The Great Hall on the upper level, with its 32 ft. high ceiling, will accommodate about 175 people. The finished pine floor is perfect for dancing. The lower level seats approximately 130, with banquet tables adjacent to the seating area. A kitchen and bar are also available. So, put on your dirndl or lederhosen, or your comfy casual clothes, and join us for great evening of food, laughter, dancing and lots of fun.
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