Wednesday, July 21, 2010

German Fest Photos 2010

I am going to take Photos at German Fest each day, so watch this post as I keep adding photo albums to this space.

Wednesday, July 21
This was the day before German Fest started. A mini-concert was scheduled on Old World 3rd Street with all the German Entertainers.

Thursday, July 22
This was one wet day. It rained all day, but toward evening it REALLY got bad! First they shut down all the audio equipment. Then when it was reported that the weather was getting worse, they shut down everything. Our ride home from the fest grounds was a bit scary. There was a lot of flooding throughout the Milwaukee area and fear is that it will continue till tomorrow. All the pictures are mostly of the rain. I think the Butzenmaenner actually played for a little while, but the 30th Anniversary showcase never got started. Let's all hope that the weather will soon get better.

Friday, July 23
The sun was shinning all day. I have several pictures of the Blaskappelle Milwaukee in this bunch of pictures and the German singers showcase.
Saturday, July 24
I am short on time, but I wanted to get Saturday's pictures posted before I go down to the fest grounds. I will be updating these pictures next week.

Sunday, July 25, 2010
Last day of German Fest. I have to get up on Monday at 4:30 am to start work at 6 am, but I wanted to get these pictures out for everyone. During the week I will return to the website to add captions. But in the meantime here are the pictures.
Please remember you can just click on the slide show and it will take you directly into the album on Picasa. Then find the photo you want to download -- right click on the photo and download it to your computer. It's all FREE. Love that Picasa.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

German Fest in Milwaukee is almost here

I have not posted much about German Fest this year. I did not feel the need, because they have finally started using their website and posting much more information than they ever have in the past. If you are looking for deals or specials on some of the days, please be sure to go the the German Fest website. However, I did not want disappoint some of my readers and give you a little more info about the info this year. Also, I like to provide links to the artists' webpages, so if you would like more info on some of them it is available. (German Fest website does not provide them). I am not going to list the local acts this year, because it would just take too much space.

30th Anniversary Showcase - When you see this in the program it will include only entertainment from Europe. Such as, Claudia & Alexx, Francy B, Geschwister David, Golden Sixties Band, Max Lechner, Armin Stoeckl, and Regina Thoss
Claudia & Alexx - Those of you who attended the Christmas show in Milwaukee (or in Chicago) will notice that Claudia has a NEW Alexx. I am providing a picture taken by my friend, Maria Olligies, who sent this to me in April. Most of the previous advertising from German Fest did not provide this info, but I am happy to see that they updated their website recently. Also, here is a link to YouTube where Claudia is doing a single, Lass uns Fliegen. Personally I think she does not need to be a Duo. Her voice is very strong and can stand alone, but I guess everyone needs a gimmick. Click Here for Claudia's facebook page.

Francy B - This is a new name to me. I have not seen her on German TV, asked my friend in Germany about her and she is unfamiliar to her also. Not sure what kind of music she does, so it should be interesting.

Geschwister David - Recently the Geschwister David have been on Stefan Mross's Immer Wieder Sonntag's TV show, where they competed with their new song, Ach wär doch immerzu nur Sommer. It should be a treat to see these two talented girls. They usually seem to wear dirndls but I don't know if they yodel.

Golden Sixties Band - Again, this is band I am unfamiliar with. Robert Deglau has been advertising on his Continental Showcase that, of course, they play the oldies. He has played some cuts on his radio show and they sound very good.

Max Lechner - Max Lechner has appeared several times in the Chicago area, courtesy of Armin Homann, who is a DJ there. Max also brings other entertainers with him that he manages, such as Armin Stoeckl. Max was in Milwaukee for the Christmas show in 2008 and is happy to return to Milwaukee. Robert Deglau has invited Max to co-hosting the radio show, Continental Showcase, on Saturday, July 24, from the festival grounds.

Armin Stoeckl - The first time I saw Armin Stoeckl was in 2007 at Lake Villa. He was in a show with Romy, who has been on many German TV shows. Armin has some very nice songs and Robert Deglau has been playing them faithfully every week on his radio show, Continental Showcase. Robert invited Armin Stoeckl to do a Christmas show in Milwaukee in 2008. Max Lechner organized the Christmas tour and also had Birgit Pless in the show. This same show appeared in the Chicago area and there are many people in our area who have seen Armin Stoeckl in the past. Robert has been telling everyone to be sure and catch Armin's rendition of Elvis; he says it is a show stopper.

Regina Thoss - I do not know this entertainer either, but I like her website. It is easy to move around in and she looks like she has been around a long time. I saw a picture of her with the late Ted Hierl† (whom she identifies as Fred Hierl) in 1993 when she was in New Jersey. So this is not the first time she has been to the US.

Biba und Die Butzenmaenner - This is a group from Germany, but is not part of the showcase listed above. They were at German Fest about 2 years ago. They play a little more American style music and is there for the younger crowd. If you are over 50, don't expect to sing along with the songs they play. The picture to the left was taken when they were at German Fest last time. Elmar drove them around last time and found them polite and appreciative. Although the old like I had for these guys has been changed, when they arrived, I asked for the new web address. So just click on the link above & you will go straight to their website.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Continuing our Germany bus tour

On May 10, we visited Wartburg. This is where Martin Luther translated the Bible into the German language. It is a beautiful spot with a fantastic view. That evening we had quit a line-up of entertainment. It started with a glass blowing demonstration with Wiilly and Regina Knoth. They have been to Milwaukee's German Fest and Willy is also part of the Sandlers. Willy is also a single entertainer and did a show for us that night. Felix Reuter did classical music with a comedic flare and had us all laughing. He is quite a talented young pianist. Then it was Mandy Bach's turn. She is a charming, pretty young women and she really got the guys to sit up straight in their chairs. Our friend, Henry, really liked her and we proceeded to tease him about it the rest of the trip. She has some nice songs and you can find more info about Mandy Bach on her website. Here is a link to the pictures we took there. .

May 11, we toured the town of Weimar, the birthplace of Goethe and we toured the city of Erfurt. The statue of Goethe & Schiller was especially interesting to us because a replica stood in Milwaukee in Washington park for many years. It was a very busy day, but it ended on a high note when we went to dinner to the Christoffelhaus. The food was from that period as well and was delicious. The menu offered such things as: Sackpfeifenschmaus, Schrotfladen mit Schwarz bierfleisch and Grill Haxe in Schwarzbiersosse. The servers were dressed in medieval period costumes. There was a lot of audience participation and we had a lot of fun that night. Pictured on the left is Siegelinde, who together with Otto documented our trip for the newspaper, New Yorker Staats-Zeitung. I found their account of this trip priceless in bringing back memories, providing details and helping me sort through all my photos. To see the pictures from that day's activities... .

May 12, again Peter & Gisela had us busy from morning till evening. We visited a traditional factory of Erzgebirge Holzkunst. They had wonderful handmade wood figurines, Christmas ornaments and just a variety of wood carvings. I did some great shopping here. Then we went spent the rest of the day in the city of Dresden. I was very impressed with this city; it had been severely bombed during the war and I was amazed at how they rebuilt the Frauen Kirche. We came back to our hotel for dinner and Heidi (formerly Heidi & Heiko who appeared several times at the Milwaukee German Fest) was waiting for us. She entertained our group that evening and even one of our group, Wolfgang Ribbert, sang a few songs for us that evening. Wolfgang is a former opera singer and has organized many music shows with German singers in the Ohio area. Wolfgang documented our trip and has 2 DVD's available of our trip. for the pictures.

May 13, we traveled to the Harz Mountains and had a ride a steam engine "bimmelbahn". The scenery was great, but it was cold that day and we even found a mound of snow that had not melted yet. We were served dinner a typical Harzer platte which included a variety of regional specialties (including schmalz) and the well-known Harzer cheese. Werner Sturm & the Zackels entertained us that evening. Photos:

May 14, we visited the Basilica Vierzehnheiligen. A resident monk greeted us and addressed our group for about 30 minutes explaining the history of this very impressive church. Then the men went in search of having an authentic Kloster Beer. Next was a stop at Hummel. We were greeted by the new president of Hummel, who is not longer part of Goebel. He is a Delaware native and addressed our group in English. He showed us a short film documenting the history of Hummel and then the best part... SHOPPING!!! The tour continued on to Peter's hometown, Steinach. We welcomed by the mayor of Steinach and the town choir sang a few songs for us. Then it was a short hike to the Waldhaus where Peter spent many hours playing his beloved button box for guests there. Peter's mother had made the potatoe salad for our group. Peter's band, the Sandlers, was in charge of cooking the authentic Thuringer sausages. It was an evening that was certainly full of stimmung and ended with entertainment by the Sandlers. for the photos of Steinach and to see the pictures of the Basilica & Hummel.

May 15, we traveled to our 3rd (and last) hotel in Landau. We saw beautiful scenery on our way to the hotel as we drove through the Pfalz. We quickly freshened up and got ready for the big show in the evening of Anni and Moni's 20th anniversary. Because this was a very full program, I will do a separate posting of this day's activities.

May 16: Because the previous night was a late party night we were able to sleep a little longer. This was a Sunday and many things are closed on Sundays, but we went to Heidelberg. Since it is a tourist town, there were many shops open and of course the Castle was open. Because I had seen the castle already twice, I chose to spend my time in town. The views down the little side streets were so quaint and I also enjoyed people watching while Elmar went to the castle. We each had our own cameras and were able to take pictures of both locations. Here are the Photos:

May 17, was our last full day of touring. We went to the Black Forest via the Schwarzwaldhochstrasse where we saw many of the typical Black Forest style homes. We stopped in Triberg and saw the largest working Cuckoo clock in the world. I ate an authentic Black Forest torte in Triberg and it was delicious. Then we were invited to a local Schwarzwald club who maintains the traditions of the Black Forest. They explained their beautiful trachts and their time honored traditions. Also, there were two local singers who entertained that afternoon. Here are the pictures:

May 18, was the last day of our tour and I will do a separate posting for this day.

I would like to thank Gisela Lewis and Peter Matthai for putting together such a fantastic bus tour. Every day was filled with many activities, sites and, of course, music. We know that there was a waiting list for this trip, but I heard that there is already a waiting list for next year's trip to the upper part of Italy (Sudtirol). However, if you are interest in next year's tour, please contact Gisela because she is contemplating having a 2nd tour if there is enough interest.