We were more than ready to welcome spring to Belleville this year, and we’ll soon welcome the first of our Paderborn visitors this year too.
Our general membership meeting is coming up on May 15. And, right after that is Art on the Square. Again this year Paderborn art- ists will be represented. Renate Stueken and Uschi Bracker will exhibit some of their work.
Twelve Belleville high school students are preparing for their trip to Paderborn this summer – a trip that we understand will also include an excursion to Bavaria – and a group of 12 from Paderborn will arrive in September to celebrate Oktoberfest with us.
We may also enjoy a visit including a performance by a 49-member youth symphonic band from Heide, Germany, in mid-July. If they come, they’ll be co-sponsored by the Belleville Philharmonic. Jerry Reilmann is representing Sister Cities as we explore this possibility. We may be looking for accommodations for some of the youths during a two-night stay. We should have news about this at the Membership Appreciation Dinner at St. Luke’s Parish Hall on June 19.
In the meantime, Ron Fritz has led a crew that prepared a beer garden float for the April 25 Bicentennial Parade. If you saw the parade, perhaps a costumed Sister Cities member lifted a stein to you as the float made its way down Main Street with all the other bicentennial floats.
The Paderborn group that’s coming in September will drive down from Chicago on the day that we’ll be setting up our booths for Oktoberfest and will be here for all three days of what promises to be an event to remember. They’ll be departing the following Monday to catch a flight back to Paderborn that leaves that afternoon. While they’re here, we’ll be joining them in dedicating a white oak tree and plaque at Bicentennial Park.
Our Taste of Germany plans are proceeding well too. We expect the earlier start time – 3 p.m. on Oct. 5 – will add to the appeal of this event for those who have farther to travel to it. I’ve already received positive responses from some.
Our bicentennial year is off to a good start and there is much left in it for us to look forward to.
News from Paderborn
Dear Friends in Belleville and Around,
The activities for Belleville’s Bicentennial reached one of its peaks with the wonderful parade on April 25th. We have seen great pic- tures of the event, also the picture of BSC’s float recognizing Belle- ville’s German heritage and the connection between our two cities. Congratulations on this wonderful achievement! Many thanks to those who have been responsible for the layout and the production of the float!
We have heard the video with the greetings of Paderborn’s Mayor Heinz Paus and the message from DAFK President Heiner and Vice- President Wolfgang were well received at the Gala of March 8th.
The Paderborn artists Renate Stueken and Uschi Bracker will pre- sent their works of art at Art on the Square in May. Both artists have their focus on “people”: Renate will present sculptures of clay, Uschi will show paintings. Both artists are grateful for the support of the project by the City of Paderborn as well as by Robert “Chick” Fritz, Inc. and their German beer partner Warsteiner, DAFK and BSC. Renate and Uschi are glad that their husbands Wolfgang and Joerg will lend a helping hand during the exhibition. All of them will be hosted by Bob and Ruth Fritz.
From July 12th thru August 1st DAFK is looking forward to the return visit of 12 Belleville youths who had hosted a Paderborn group in 2013. Andy Gaa and Kate Eckert will be their chaperones. They’ll end their stay together with their German peers with a trip to Munich, the capital of Bavaria.
Both BSC and DAFK are happy that the three month youth exchange will be continued this summer. From August 13th Devyn Joellenbeck and her family will host Johanna Traub; Madelyn Wagner and her family will have Daniela Koch as their guest. They’ll attend Belle- ville West High School. DAFK is extending the thanks to everybody involved in this wonder- ful project, especially to the host families, the school and to BSC and the chairwoman of the youth committee Doris Roach. Doris had a chance to meet with both girls in Paderborn on a visit to Europe in April. DAFK had a special “stammtisch” for her and her husband John. By the way, DAFK regularly offers a special “stammtisch” when we have guests from Belle- ville and around. So we are looking forward to the next special “stammtisch” for Marilyn and Judith Schulte, BSC members living in St. Louis, in June.
So come to Paderborn…!
DAFK is proud to send an official delegation of 11 persons to Belleville attending the ceremo- nies of this year’s Oktoberfest. The group will be led by President Heiner Sprenkamp and Vice-President Wolfgang Stueken. Three other members of the board will also come: Erwin Schlenger, Uta Hoischen and Alois Lienen. Dr. Gabi Sprenkamp, Marita Lienen, John and Gertrud Greaves and Manfred Joachim will complete the group. All of them are looking for- ward to these great days of Belleville’s 200th birthday. Many thanks to BSC, President Larry Pearson and everybody involved.
Last but not least we would like to draw your attention to a wonderful report by Wolfgang Stueken about Belleville’s birthday and history that is presented on DAFK’s homepage
Although it is written in German you may enjoy the pictures.
Best wishes to all of you for all forthcoming events of Belleville’s Bicentennial.
Dr. Otmar Allendorf