Alpenfest 2004: 30th annual celebration

<I>Photo by Elane Dickenson</I><BR>The EHS drama club raised funds in costume at the festival.

Sunny fall weather graced the 30th Annual Alpenfest Celebration held Sept. 24, 25 and 26 at the Edelweiss Inn at Wallowa Lake. Tourists and locals flocked to the Alpine celebration that consisted of a number of outside arts and crafts booths, food booths, and a series of musical and dance presentations held with dinner and drinks in the old Edelweiss Inn.

Heading the entertainment docket, as he has done many years in the past, was world-class yodeler Kerry Christensen. Armed with an accordion and the uncanny ability to make unusual sounds with his mouth - including the sound of a trumpet - Christensen performed alone on stage for two 45-minute sets during Friday and Saturday night performances, and performances held Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

The man who sings alpine and cowboy yodeling has traveled to Canada, Europe, Las Vegas, the Caribbean and the Pacific to entertain at Octoberfests, fairs and cruises.

Performing in separate sets on stage during the weekend festival were the nine-piece Z Musikmakers from Eugene, a group primarily comprised of the Zollner family who entertained with accordion, keyboard, violin, clarinet, marimba, mandolin, trumpet, drums and bass guitar. The group has been performing at Bavarian festivals since 1977, but has new energy supplied by three daughters ages eighth grade through college graduate who play instruments and sing.

The third element of entertainment was provided by the Comerford School in Portland which provided a well received program of Irish dancing.

Dinner served with the entertainment in the packed hall was two sausages, a large dinner roll, sauerkraut and a soft drink. Gwen Thornberg of the Wallowa Lake Tourist Committee, which annually holds the tourist-season-ending festival, said, "The weather was beautiful and everyone really enjoyed the entertainment." Thornberg did not know how many sausages were sold, but said that the committee went through 70 gallons of sauerkraut.

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