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Augustoberfest toasts German heritage

September 24, 2006

The City of Hagerstown celebrates its German heritage and Sister City affiliation with Wesel, Germany, annually with Octoberfest in August - or Augustoberfest.

The two-day celebration is an August event because when it began it was associated with the Burhans family reunion, an August event, says Karen Giffin, the city's director of community affairs. The late Mayor Winslow F. Burhans and his wife, Jane, helped initiate the Sister City relationship.

In 2007, the event will take place Saturday, Aug. 25, and Sunday, Aug. 26.

Festivities focus on German cuisine and traditional beverages. Bavarian entertainment includes music and dancing, and there are children's activities.

Hagerstown and Wesel formally became Sister Cities with a public proclamation on March 10, 1952, setting an example to symbolize peace and the end of the horrors of World War II.

The affiliation has continued through business relationships, cultural activities and student-exchange programs.

Some proceeds from the event benefit the Sister City student-exchange programs.

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For information, go to www.augustoberfest.org.

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