'Punk polka' takes stage at Naper Settlement Oktoberfest

By Ann Piccininni
Daily Herald correspondent
Updated 10/2/2018 1:26 PM
  • There will be a variety of German-style music at Naper Settlement's Oktoberfest celebration this weekend.

    There will be a variety of German-style music at Naper Settlement's Oktoberfest celebration this weekend. Courtesy of Naper Settlement

If you want to find out what "punk polka" music sounds like, Naper Settlement is the place for you this weekend.

The living-history museum at 523 S. Webster St. in downtown Naperville is holding an Oktoberfest celebration Friday and Saturday that's designed to combine tradition with innovation.

Along with the lederhosen, dirndls, oompah bands and beer that typify a Munich-style bash, the party will offer entertainment designed to appeal to a variety of tastes.

"It's a mix of new bands and returning bands that are all favorites," said Abbey Bobzin, the settlement's public relations coordinator.

Friday's entertainment starts at 5:30 p.m. with Lenny Gomulka and Chicago Push, a 12-time Grammy Award nominee and member of the International Polka Music Hall of Fame.

Next up, at 8 p.m., is a show featuring Polkaholics, back from last year.

"It's a different spin on the polka. It's a punk take on it," said Adison Glick, settlement special events coordinator.

"They're so kooky and fun. They come all dressed up, and they're really fun to rock out to," Bobzin said.

Traditional German music returns at 12:30 p.m. Saturday when The Happy Wanderers take the stage, followed by the Steve Meisner Trio at 3 p.m., described by Glick as "super traditional."

"Then the music will kind of segue with Freeze Dried," Glick said. Taking the stage at 5:30 p.m., this band offers quirky renditions of songs such as "Brown-Eyed Girl" and "Proud Mary," he said.

"They're songs everyone is familiar with, in a polka style," he said.

Saturday's headliner, classic rock cover band Mike and Joe, takes the genre all the way to modern with a show that starts at 8 p.m.

Bobzin said children's activities will be featured from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. There will be opportunities to create take-home art projects with Pinot's Palette and kids also may watch a martial arts demonstration and try their hand at a board-breaking exercise.

My Chef Catering is adding a veggie burger to its German-themed menu that includes bratwurst, Bavarian chicken, German potato salad, braised red cabbage, spaetzle, strudel and German chocolate cake.

A few new eating options will be available this year inside the heated tent, which seats more than 700

"We've brought in a local pretzel company, Philly Pretzel Factory," Glick said. "They have this pumpkin dip that goes with it."

Gindo's Hot Sauce will offer samples of its products and Nothing Bundt Cakes is returning as a vendor.

"Outside of the tent, we'll have a beer garden with high-top tables," Bobzin said.

Patio heaters will keep the outdoors toasty should the temperature dip. Lawn games will be available, including corn hole sets and oversized Jenga, dice and Connect Four games.

"Our Oktoberfest is a great way for the Naperville community to come together to celebrate fall and all things German," Bobzin said.

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