Aus dem Mitteilungsblatt von Belleville Sister Cities Inc.
Whew! Belleville’s Bicentennial Year is nearing its conclusion and, boy, have we been busy!
The Sister Cities bicentennial beer garden float, created by Ron Fritz and a crew including Keith Brauer and John Roach, has participated in several parades – winning a trophy along the way -- and will be on the streets again Nov. 28 for the Santa Parade.
We’ve just held another successful Taste of Germany dinner. Attendance was down a bit this year. We’re not sure if that was because of the earlier time, competition presented by fine weather and post-season baseball play- offs, or simply because people were still recovering from the three-day Okto- berfest two weeks earlier.
We hosted 17 visitors from Paderborn during Belleville’s biggest ever Oktoberfest event and our hard work at the food booth paid off with substantial profits to support our youth exchange program with Paderborn.
On Saturday, Sept. 20, our Paderborn guests including Mayor Michael Dreier and former Mayor Heinz Paus joined Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert and Belleville Sister Cities members in dedicating a white oak tree and marker at what is being developed as a second entrance to Bicentennial Park. A month earlier, we joined Paderborn Sister Cities and others in co-sponsoring a drum workshop and performance organized by Ulrich Frost of Paderborn. He brought in the bassist and pianist from the Chester Thompson trio as well as two internationally known drummers for a high-energy perform- ance at the Philharmonic Hall on Aug. 26.
But the year isn't over yet. Quickly coming up is our November general meeting at which David Braswell will give a talk on "Belleville Then and Now." He must chair another meeting that night so he'll begin his talk at 6:00. We will elect a trustee in our business meeting, which will be held after his talk. Remember, dinner is at 5:30.
Beginning on Nov. 28, Belleville will have its first Christmas Market and we’ve been invited to sell gluhwein and beer in one of the chalets that will be set up near the central square downtown. And on Dec. 18 we’ll gather at the Roemer Topf Restaurant in Mascoutah for our annual Christmas Stammtisch.
Then, with the Bicentennial behind us, we’ll be looking forward to celebrating our own anniversary, the 25th, in 2015. I’m already looking for volunteers for a committee to plan our celebration.
News from Paderborn
Dear friends in Belleville and Around!
A big hand from Paderborn to the city of Belleville and to the Bicen- tennial Committee for organizing a wonderful September event – it was the highlight of the great anniversary of Paderborn’s sister city. And congratulations to Belleville Sister Cities, Inc. on the big suc- cess of the Oktoberfest booth on the Public Square.
The Freundeskreis sent a group of eleven members, led by President Heiner Sprenkamp, to Belleville. Two other DAFK-members, Man- fred Greitemeyer and his wife Beate, stopped in Belleville for the Oktoberfest celebration while on a private trip through U.S. Pader- born’s new Mayor Michael Dreier and his wife Beate as well as for- mer Mayor Heinz Paus and his wife Sabine came for two and a half day to join Belleville’s big birthday party.
All guests from Paderborn enjoyed the wonderful hospitality of Belleville host families, and they spent unforgettable days in the 200 years young old town: With good beers, the very tasty 200 foot Brat- wurst (and other delicious food), good music (not only by the legendary Beach Boys) and a lot of good talks with Belleville friends and visitors from around. Warm thanks to everybody involved, to the host families, to Mayor Eckert and to the board of BSC.
To join the Naturalization Ceremony of the State of Illinois, the official Opening Ceremony of the weekend and the bishop’s mass was a honor for the German guests. The Tapping of the Golden Keg, introduced by the American and German National anthem (performed by Doris Roach) was a very special event – not only for the gals in Dirndl and the guys Lederhosen. DAFK-members Gertrud and John Greaves supported the BSC-friends at the Oktoberfest- booth. Manfred Greitemeyer helped in erecting the BSC booths on Thursday evening.
The Paderborn group was proud to be part of an international music program. The accordi- onists Gabi Sprenkamp and her sister Uta Hoischen played together with the Belleville musi- cian Mardy Eisloeffel and his friend as a quartet at the Oktoberfest-stage on West Main Street, and a choir of German singing students of Belleville high schools and Paderborn visi- tors, conducted by Andy Gaa, performed old German folk tunes and new songs like „From Paderborn to America“, written by Karl-Horst (“Charlie”) Meiners, and the “The Paderborn Song.”
A few of the Paderborn guests were visiting Belleville for the first time. They enjoyed the of- fers of Belleville friends to make short trips to St. Louis (Gateway Arch and/or a Cardinal Baseball game) and to “Little” Paderborn in St. Clair County during this sunny weekend.
The tree dedication in the new Bicentennial Park together with the friends of Belleville Sis- ter Cities and the Mayors, the guided bus-tour with Mayor Mark Eckert to interesting points of Belleville, and finally the breakfast at Our Lady of the Snows on the last morning have also been big points of a great itinerary. It was a weekend of a wonderful friendship. All of us had a really great time. After returning to Germany Mayor Michael Dreier said, he hopes to the see many friends from Belleville in Paderborn next year.
And now: All DAFK-members wish Belleville much luck for the first (German) Christmas market!