2018-09-12 / Community View

Center for the Arts to host Oktoberfest in downtown Lapeer on Sept. 22

The always-fun and regional favorite Polish Muslims will close out the musical entertainment for the night when they perform at 8:30 p.m. Sept. 22. The always-fun and regional favorite Polish Muslims will close out the musical entertainment for the night when they perform at 8:30 p.m. Sept. 22. LAPEER — Oktoberfest at the Center for the Arts just keeps growing. This year, four groups of talented musicians will keep the live music flowing along with the beer, brats and German food favorites.

The festival begins by keeping it in the family on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 2:30 p.m. with strolling father-and-son musicians the Brothers Grimm, followed by Trans Am Euro Mutts, who will play music from the old country — polkas, waltzes, and more. Immigrant Sons will be returning to the downtown Lapeer festival this year, bringing a lively mix of traditional European and contemporary American music and vocals appealing to a wide range of musical tastes. To cap off the evening, The Polish Muslims will be back for the fifth year with their zany brand of pop and rock classics set to a polka beat. “Four great concerts for one low price,” said Katie Beth Chrismer, communications director for the Center for the Arts of Greater Lapeer.

Trans Am Euro Mutts will before at 4 p.m. Sept. 22 on the Oktoberfest stage to be set up on North Court Street. Trans Am Euro Mutts will before at 4 p.m. Sept. 22 on the Oktoberfest stage to be set up on North Court Street. The yearly Lapeer street festival has roots in traditions dating back centuries, said Chrismer. “Oktoberfest is a tradition that dates back to 1810. The first Oktoberfest was in honor of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to princess Therese von Sachsen- Hildburghausen,” she said. “The festivities began on Oct. 12, 1810 and ended on Oct. 17 with a horse race.” In the following years, she said, the celebrations were repeated until eventually, the festival was prolonged and moved forward into September, allowing for better weather conditions. “The first weekend in October is the last weekend of the traditional Oktoberfest,” said Chrismer. “On the dot of 12 noon on Saturday, Sept. 16, a cry of ‘O’zapft is!’ (‘It is tapped!’) will ring out in Munich as the mayor taps the first barrel of beer, thus declaring Oktoberfest — or the ‘Wiesn’ as the people in Munich call it — officially open.”

On Sept. 22 at 2:30 p.m., Court Street — between Nepessing and Park streets — will mirror Munich and begin Lapeer’s own Oktoberfest celebration, complete with beer, food, and three different bands. The music will begin at 2:30 p.m. with Brothers Grimm. “They’ve been here before and we’re happy to welcome them back to start our Oktoberfest in fine traditional style. These guys look like and sound like they’ve come straight from historical Munich,” Chrismer said.

At 4 p.m., Trans Am Euro Mutts will be playing on the Oktoberfest stage for the first time. Although the band members hail from all backgrounds including German, Irish, French, Spanish, Gypsy, and Slavic, they’ll be bringing their own sound of authentic German style music to our traditional celebration. “They’ll be playing your favorites from the München beer tents with Oktoberfest style and Bavarian music,” said Chrismer. “They may even throw in a few tunes from the rest of German culture, such as the Alps in Austria. Come out and give this band a great Lapeer welcome.”

At 6 p.m., the Immigrant Sons will take the stage. A high-spirited and fun band, these talented musicians continue the musical journey of their heritage. Playing a wide variety of traditional German, Italian, Polish, Austrian, Spanish, French, and contemporary music, they will thrill their audience with numbers ranging from “Too Fat Polka” to “Mustang Sally”.

At 8:30 p.m., the Polish Muslims will take over and get your toes tapping to their unique polka beat. “Imagine you are hearing all your favorite styles of pop music (‘60s rock, polka, alternative, etc.) with a touch of tongue-in-cheek humor,” said Chrismer. Since their inception in the 1980s, the Polish Muslims have managed to blaze a trail of sold out shows, radio and television appearances, and dozens of outdoor concerts, all without taking themselves too seriously.

In addition to the great sounds that will be filling the air, there will be the wonderful aroma of traditional Oktoberfest foods from Country Smoke House. Serving will start around 4:30 p.m. and food is available free of charge until supply runs out. Special Oktoberfest beer will be available for purchase, along with wine and non-alcoholic beverages.

“If you’d like to keep your hands busy while enjoying the music, you’re in luck,” Chrismer said. Artist Rhonda Porzadek of RK Gourd Creations will be set up outside for a fun art project. Attendees will get a chance to create some of her signature gourd ornaments with a special fall theme. All supplies will be provided at no extra charge and Porzadek will be on hand for step by step instructions as needed.

“With a rainout location in the PIX Theatre, our Oktoberfest promises to be a good time, whatever the weather,” Chrismer said. “Seating is limited and advance tickets are strongly encouraged. Put on your polka shoes and help us make this year’s Oktoberfest the very best one yet.” Tickets in advance are $16 for adults and $13 for seniors, students, and veterans. At the event entrance, prices increase to $17 for adults and $14 for seniors, students, and veterans.

To purchase tickets in advance, visit the PIX Box Office located inside Gallery 194, Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets may also be purchased over the phone at 810-664-4824 or at the website www.centerfortheartslapeer.org.

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