Oktoberfest returns to Naper Settlement
By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media September 29, 2011 10:14AM
♦ Sept. 30-Oct. 1
♦ Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville
♦ Tickets, $10-$8
♦ (630) 420-6010
Updated: November 30, 2011 12:42AM
Naperville Oktoberfest returns for a third year to honor Naperville’s German heritage.
Held under a tent on the grounds of the Naper Settlement (yes, construction is complete!), the Naperville Oktoberfest runs from 4 to 10 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday. It will feature music, food, beer, children’s activities and more, said marketing director Donna DeFalco.
“We have a great lineup. We have more German music this year than last,” she said.
The local band Die Musikmeisters kick off the festival at 4 p.m. Friday. They are a traditional German oompah band which wears the authentic costumes and plays standard German polkas.
Following Die Musikmeisters, rock band Prodigal Son plays from 6 to 8 p.m. And rounding out Friday night’s entertainment is classic rock cover band, The Almost Brothers.
On Saturday, Ron Keller’s German Band will play from 6 to 8 p.m.
“Ron Keller is the director of the Naperville Municipal Band, and he has a group on the side that plays German music,” she said. “It’s an oompah band, and they wear the hats and suspenders and people just love them.”
Rock band The Legends close out the festival from 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday.
“We have a nice mix of German classics and rock favorites, so it will appeal to all audiences,” she said.
Something else appealing is a full day of children’s activities. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, kids will find plenty to keep their hands and minds engaged.
“The German Language School of Naperville will be out helping with games,” she said. “Blick Art Materials will have crafts and face painting, and Sharkey’s Karate School will be out giving demonstrations.”
Additionally, the Blue Streak, the miniature train normally seen at Naper Days, will be chugging up and down the roadways. Finally, a puppeteer will be on hand to entertain the kids.
“We’ve added more children’s activities so it’s a really family-friendly event on Saturday,” she said. “We’re slowly growing the event and adding more to it as years go on.”
Oktoberfest is a fundraiser for the Naperville Heritage Society, DeFalco said.
“We preserve Naperville’s past for future generations,” she said. “Another reason is that Naperville has a strong German heritage. In the 1840s there was wave of German immigration, specifically from the Alsace-Lorraine region. They are the group that helped build St. Peter and Paul Church. We’re honoring the past while looking to the future.”
Oktoberfest will feature German food such as traditional bratwurst, German potato salad and apple strudel by My Chef Catering, German beer and wine and soft drinks.
“This year, the German beers are provided by Schamberger Brothers,” she said. “They are bringing really good German beers. It’s all part of Oktoberfest — German food and German beers.”
Oktoberfest is all volunteer-run, and that neighborly feeling translates to the fest, she said.
“People can expect a feeling of community and camaraderie, and to have a really good time.”