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Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

German Bier Fest planned

By William Kincaid
ST. HENRY - A new community festival celebrating the village's strong German ancestry will be held Sept. 22 at the St. Henry American Legion.
Local barber and Sons of the American Legion member Scott Rindler, who is organizing the first annual German Bier Fest, said the event will feature national polka band The Squeeze Box, traditional German brats and metz and of course, plenty of beer, including brands from around the globe.
Rindler, who helped bring back the popular St. Patrick's Day Parade to the village this year, said the German Bier Fest is intended to highlight the village's German roots, he said.
All proceeds from the festival will be donated to community youth programs and a veterans' fund, according to Rindler.
Rindler was forthright about the event's celebration of beer, as he pointed out Mercer County's high consumption.
"Why not run an event that everyone knows how to do well - drink beer," he said.
The event will begin at the St. Henry American Legion at 7 p.m. with Squeeze Box taking the stage to play polkas, fox trots, big band and square dance music in four languages - English, Polish, German and Czech. There will be a $4 cover charge.
Rindler said there will be a large dance floor area, as he hopes some of the older residents can show the younger crowd how to dance to such traditional music.
Festival-goers also can fill up on authentic German food, which Rindler said will be provided by Legion members.
"If us locals can't think up how to cook German food, it's a problem," he said.
In addition to two German beers that will be on tap all evening, Rindler said the event will feature 48 other bottles of beer from around the world, including China, Japan, Jamaica and Mexico. There also will be domestic beer. All beer will be provided by Mercer Beverage Co., St. Henry.
"A lot of people don't know what kinds of products they serve," Rindler said, before pointing out the festival intends to promote the local company.
If the festival goes well, Rindler said he hopes to expand the German Bier Fest into a multi-day event in the future.
"It's just a good day for you to kick your heels up and try something different," he said.
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