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Dirndls and Lederhosen and Bier, Oh My!

By Tatum Bartlett | Thursday, June 3, 2010

Photo courtesy Mardi Gras Society.

Dirndls and lederhosen and bier, oh my! The 11th?annual Mayfest(or Maifest auf Deutsch), which is celebrated throughout Germany to hail the arrival of spring, is taking over Lincoln Square this weekend.??This four-day event will feature live music, maypole (maibum) dancing, German food and bier, and cultural programming all served up with a touch of Gem?tlichkeit, which essentially means ?chilling out.?

Sarah Miller is a volunteer coordinator for DANK Haus. She says she?s sifted through more than 1,000 e-mails and scheduled about 150 volunteers to work DANK Haus? booth. Miller will be manning the entrance of the DANK Haus’ bar, which will be set up on the Western Avenue side of the main tent and assures me she will be donning her green dirndl, pink apron, and a stein in hand. DANK Haus, as other sponsors of the festival, relies heavily on Mayfest as a way to generate revenue for its yearlong cultural programming, German language school, museum, and library.

According to Miller, Mayfest is as authentic of a street festival as it gets.

?This is not your typical cookie cutter street festival, with lemonade stands and sunglasses,? she says.??It is a true celebration of German heritage, with all proceeds going directly to those neighborhood and city organizations that support German cultural development.?

Located at the intersection of Lincoln and Leland avenues, Mayfest will begin on Thursday, June 3,?at 6 p.m., and the event runs through Sunday, June 6. The Captain Blood Orchestra and alumni from Old Town School of Folk Music are slated to perform on Thursday, and the Polkaholics are expected to perform some serious polka on Friday. While Mayfest begins on Thursday, the official opening ceremony isn?t until Friday, when the traditional keg tapping and May Queen crowning occur.

For those looking to avoid the Friday and Saturday evening crowds, Miller suggests heading over on Sunday morning (and in morning she means 1 o?clock pm), to take in the planned German-American ethnic cultural programming.? She also suggests purchasing your food and drink tickets on Thursday to avoid the inevitably long Friday and Saturday lines.

I think the only thing that is left is ?Prost!?

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