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Frankfort fest features German culture

Blaskapelle Gemmingen 30-piece bfrom Germany features complete brass horn section. | ErGallagher/For Sun-Times Media

Blaskapelle Gemmingen, a 30-piece band from Germany, features a complete brass and horn section. | Erin Gallagher/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: September 19, 2014 6:30AM



Maybe the band wasn’t playing “It’s a Small World (After All),” but the group’s makeup sure did prove that point.

The Alpine Music Fest at the German American Heritage Center in Frankfort on Sunday featured a 30-piece multigenerational band direct from Germany. Instead of the stereotypical oom-pah music, Blaskapelle Gemmingen’s opening set included American tunes such as “Killing Me Softly” and “Tequila.”

“I love it,” said Dave Fairbrother, of Cicero. “I think it’s the greatest thing that ever happened.”

Fairbrother said he thought it was especially important to bring young people, such as some of the band members, to see the United States.

Within the first hour of the Sunday fest, there already were about 300 people. Most were seated at tables under the canopy in the beer garden. Others waited in line for a brat or a torte. Spaten and other cold tap beers were served with little or no waiting.

Many club members were dressed in traditional lederhosen or dirndls. Even children, such as Faith Myszkiewica, 12, of Manteno, dressed in a dirndl and hat to help sell food tickets.

John Stern, a club member, wore black lederhosen as he helped park cars.

“I think it’s a lot of fun,” said Scott Peterson, of Mokena. “The food’s good, and I love the music.”

The German American Heritage Center is at 25249 S. Center Road. It has been around since 1959, spokeswoman Stephanie Kush said. The club decided to get the word out this year through media and social media because the general public is not aware it existed, she said.

To bring people back, any unused food and beer tickets can be used at future events.

For more information about the club, visit the German American Heritage Center page on Facebook.



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