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Augustoberfest set for Saturday

August 12, 1997

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

Area residents will have the opportunity to sample German food and entertainment during the second annual Augustoberfest on Saturday.

This year's celebration of Hagerstown's sister city affiliation with Wesel, Germany, will include a volksmarch - or noncompetitive walk - through City Park and Rose Hill Cemetery, officials said.

Germany was one of four European countries where volksmarches originated, said Piedmont Pacers Trailmaster Chuck Merkel. The Carroll County-based Pacers are sponsoring the walk.

The walks are good exercise and give people a chance to meet new friends, said Charlie Sekula, Augustoberfest chairman.

Participants in the volksmarch can choose between routes of 5, 6, 10 or 11 kilometers, Merkel said. They can walk as far as they feel comfortable and stop to shop along the way, he said.

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Walkers can start any time between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the North Potomac Street parking lot, but must be done by 5 p.m., Merkel said.

The longer routes go through the North End of the city as well as City Park, he said.

German food and entertainment will be available in a tent at the North Potomac Street parking lot, where the Augustoberfest will be held from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., said Downtown Coordinator Karen Giffin.

The Municipal Band will perform from noon to 1 p.m., followed by the Maryland Symphony Orchestra's brass quintet between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

The Shippensburg German Band under the directorship of Kurt Richter will play from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. the Heimat Echo Band and Alpenrose Schuhplattlers dance group will perform.

About 458 people attended last year's festival, but this year at least 2,000 people are expected to attend because marketing for the event has improved, officials said.

The festival eventually could become a weekend event, Giffin said.

Parking will be available in the North Potomac Street parking deck and in the rear of the North Potomac Street parking lot.

Tickets are $10 per person. Admission is free to children 12 years old and younger.

Tickets are available at the Schmankerl Stube, 'Round the Square, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra office and the City Clerk's office on the second floor of City Hall. Tickets also can be purchased at the event.

For more information, check out the event's web site at (http://www.augustoberfest.com).

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