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Posted on Thu. Jun. 05, 2014 - 12:01 am EDT

Germanfest begins Sunday; the Bier Tent opens Wednesday

One of the highlights this year will be performances by an accordion orchestra from Gera, Germany

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Celebrating heritage

What: Germanfest will celebrate Fort Wayne's German heritage with food, music and more.

When: Sunday through June 15. Festival Pavilion and Bier Tent will be open 11 a.m.-midnight Wednesday and June 12, and 11 a.m.-1 a.m. June 13-14.

Where: Headwaters Park, Clinton and Superior streets, and other locations

Cost: Free for many events. Admission to the Festival Pavilion and Bier Tent is $2, 2-5 p.m., and $5, after 5 p.m. All military personnel with I.D. are admitted free.

Information: For a schedule of events and band performance times, go to http://germanfest.org.

Note: Minors must be accompanied by parent. No one under age 21 will be permitted after 9:30 p.m.

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Along with all of your favorite events, this year's Germanfest, which runs Sunday through June 15, will offer what could be a Fort Wayne first:

One of the participants will be the Ost Thueringen Jugend Akkordeon Orchester, which is made up of about 25 accordion players from Fort Wayne's Sister City of Gera, Germany.

“It probably is more accordions than anybody here has seen in one spot,” said Bob Anweiler, a Germanfest board member and its marketing director.

Gera also will be represented by a 20-member line dancing group comprised of residents ages 40-70, Anweiler said.

The accordion orchestra consists of players who are about ages 12 to 40, he said. The group also travels with a drummer and director.

The playing schedule:

•The Mannerchor/Damenchor Konzert at 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Park Edelweiss, 3355 Elmhurst Drive. The Mannerchor and Damenchor are local men's and women's German choral groups, respectively. Admission is free.

•Kostritzer Night beginning at 5 p.m. Monday at Club Soda, 235 E. Superior St.

•Hofbrau Night, beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Fort Wayne Sport Club, 3102 Ardmore Ave.

•Germanfest Tent Opening Ceremony, 11 a.m. Wednesday at Headwaters Park, Clinton and Superior streets.

•They will perform 12:30-1 p.m. June 14 in the lower level of Headwaters Park near the Festival Pavilion.

The Bolo Tie Line Dance group from Gera will be on the floor during the Dance with the Germans event at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department's Community Center, 233 W. Main St. Parking is available off Berry Street and Maiden Lane.

As at past Germanfests, the overarching theme will be “eat, drink and have a good time with friends,” Anweiler said.

Other activities at Headwaters Park:

•The Festival Pavilion and Bier Tent will be open 11 a.m.-midnight Wednesday and June 12, and 11 a.m.-1 a.m. June 13-14.

•Familienfest from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 14 will offer lots of fun activities for children, such as a midway and members of The Shire of Shadowed Stars providing demonstrations noon-5 p.m. of medieval German armored combat, fencing, dancing and more.

•National Weiner Dog Finals from 2 to 5:30 p.m. June 14 will feature 128 dachshunds racing in heats to determine which dog is the fastest.

Along with fans who look forward to seeing the races, a number of dog owners eagerly await the chance to register their pooch for the competition.

“I usually get calls for information about registration in January,” Anweiler said.

He also knows of some people who set up race courses in their backyards to train their dachshund for the race.

•Entertainment will include bands from Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Cleveland and Louisville, Ky.

The local German dance group Fort Wayne Taenzer will perform German folk dances at 2, 4, 6 and 8:30 p.m. June 14.

kkilbane@news-sentinel.com


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