August 22, 2002|by KEVIN CLAPP

Packen Sie den lederhosen, aus polieren Sie jenen Lieblingsstein. Es schlgt Zeit zu Partei alt-Welt Stil zu einem Bavarian ist.

(Unpack those lederhosen, polish that favorite stein. It's time to party old-world style to a Bavarian beat.)

Weil dieses Wochenende, die mit einem yen fr spatzle ihrem inneren Deutsch whrend einer Tag-langen Feier nachgeben kann, die kulturelle Erbschaft des europischen Landes zu frdern.

(Because this weekend, those with a yen for spatzle can indulge their inner German during a day-long celebration to promote the cultural heritage of the European country.)

And here's the best part ... no need fumbling around with an English-to-German dictionary, because the seventh annual Augustoberfest brings a taste of Germany to Hagerstown's North Potomac Street Central Parking Lot.


Rain or shine, those basking in the glow of oldies hits at '60s Under the Stars Friday can return downtown Saturday to sample authentic Germanic cuisine while drinking deep ... the sights and sounds of dancing and musical troupes. Capping off the day will be a fireworks display originating from atop the Potomac Street Parking Deck.

"We're not out to make a million bucks. We want quality," says Augustoberfest co-chair Charles Sekula. "We try to do it as authentic to Bavarian or Munich Oktoberfest as possible."

Sekula should know; the owner of Bavarian restaurant Schmankerl Stube, on the corner of South Potomac and Antietam streets, is a native of Munich who came to America 35 years ago.

During the day, entertainers from Washington, Baltimore and New York state will perform for visitors who are sampling homemade sauerkraut, bratwurst and roasted pork with homemade spatzel, a noodle.

Taking the stage throughout the day will be Das Immergruen Trio, G.T.E.V. Alpenveilchen, Die Schlauberger, Heimat Echo Band and the Alpine Dancers. Keeping children busy will be an arts and crafts area with various activities.

"We learn the dances and entertainment of Germany and it's wonderful to watch," says Karen Giffin, City of Hagerstown public information manager.

After accentuating American culture on Friday night, she says it's good to expose visitors to another heritage and its customs.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the partnership between Hagerstown and Wesel, Germany. Established as sister cities on March 10, 1952, the union has continued to represent peace and fellowship between the two municipalities.

Sekula says organizers have a simple goal, one he looks forward to seeing materialize year after year.

"You have to create an atmosphere, a warm atmosphere, a welcoming atmosphere as close as possible to the atmosphere in Munich," he says. "What I enjoy most is people coming out, having a good time and enjoying what we created."

If you go

Augustoberfest, part of the 7th annual Sister City Weekend

Saturday, Aug. 24

North Potomac Street parking lot


$7.50, free for ages 12 and younger. Tickets are available at the Convention and Visitors Bureau, 16 Public Square, and City Hall, 1 E. Franklin St., Room 210, or at the gate.

Schedule of events

8 a.m. to noon - Registration for Volksmarch, 5 or 11 km walks through Hagerstown. Free. Sign up is at the hospitality tent. Walkers must conclude the course by 3 p.m.

11 a.m. - Hospitality tent and bier garden opens. Seating for 1,300 people.

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Musical group Das Immergruen Trio performs.

11 a.m. to 10 p.m. - Entertainment features a variety of dance and musical groups.

Noon to 3 p.m. - Arts and crafts activities are held for children, organized by Washington County Arts Council and Washington County Ice and Sports Complex.

10 p.m. - Augustoberfest ends.

10:15 p.m. - Fireworks launched from atop the Potomac Street Parking Deck.

For more information, call 301-739-8577, ext. 116, or go to on the Web.

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