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updated: 10/3/2012 4:02 PM

Naperville ready to celebrate Oktoberfest

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  • Naperville's Oktoberfest celebration opens Friday and runs through Saturday at Naper Settlement. The party includes a variety of children's activities on Saturday.

      Naperville's Oktoberfest celebration opens Friday and runs through Saturday at Naper Settlement. The party includes a variety of children's activities on Saturday.
    Daily Herald file photo

 
 

Steve Grosskopf traces his roots to Germany, but if there's a good party involved, they sometimes veer off to Ireland or take a turn to Mexico.

"I like a fun time," said Grosskopf, chairman of this weekend's Oktoberfest celebration in downtown Naperville.

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"I don't have any Irish in me, but you couldn't tell the difference on St. Patty's Day. I enjoy all good events."

Organized by the Naperville Heritage Society, the fest includes German eats, German brews, German music and maybe a little rock 'n' roll -- all in one giant tent Friday and Saturday on the Naper Settlement Museum grounds at 523 S. Webster St.

There's no need to shuffle through old family albums or sign up for ancestry.com, this Oktoberfest is a celebration for people of all nationalities, Grosskopf said.

But if you need a good excuse to let loose, Naperville's founder Joe Naper was German.

So, by extension, all residents should feel an obligation to celebrate, organizers say with a wink.

"It's quite simple: get a drink, get some food and listen to live music," said Lauren Visher, Naper Settlement's special events coordinator. "It's just a great big party."

There will be plenty of traditional German fare -- brats, pretzels, sauerkraut, apple strudel -- for less than $6.

The beer selection features three Oktoberfest brews -- Hoegaarden, Spaten and Shiner -- for $6 each, as well as glasses of German riesling.

Family activities take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and include crafts and games, as well as a miniature train that travels throughout the settlement.

Friday's entertainment begins at 4 p.m. with a performance by School of Rock. At 6 p.m. the German oompa band Die Musikmeisters plays until 8 p.m. when rock band O.M.T. takes the stage.

On Saturday, entertainment begins at noon with School of Rock. At 1 p.m. Jimmy's Bavarians play. At 2 p.m. the Near Beer Band plays, followed at 4 p.m. by Ron Keller's German Band. Oompah band Die Musikmeisters plays from 6 to 8 p.m., followed by headliners The Legends, who close out the fest at 10 p.m.

After 8 p.m., the party switches from Oktoberfest to Rocktoberfest, say organizers, with a louder, rock-oriented musical line up.

"It's a little bit louder crowd, but it's still just as much fun," Grosskopf said.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Naperville Heritage Society, which helps fund the preservation of city's history at Naper Settlement.

"Everybody's able to have a good time but not get lost in the overwhelming numbers and just have a really good rousing time, which I think is the spirit of Naperville," Grosskopf said.

Oktoberfest runs from 4 to 10 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday.

Tickets at the gate are $15 for adults and $10 for children ages four to 12, and that includes admission to the museum.

For details, visit napersettlement.museum.

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