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Mai Fest packed with entertainment

Three day festival celebrates German culture

May 14, 2012

Germantown - The corner of Mequon Road and Squire Drive is sure to be bustling this weekend as the 24th annual Mai Fest kicks off at 5 p.m. Friday.

The three-day festival features German cuisine and a long list of entertainment. The entertainment begins at 8 p.m. Friday with Chasin' Mason, a Milwaukee band that was selected to add contemporary entertainment to the event. Bubs Irish Pub helped organizers select bands for the event.

"This year we're going to have contemporary entertainment both Friday and Saturday night and our hope is to broaden the audience to appeal to younger festivalgoers," Mai Fest Organizer Chris Yatchak said.

Honoring Armed Forces

Mai Fest continues on Saturday with an opening ceremony at 11:30 a.m. The American Legion Color Guard starts the festivities and honors Armed Forces Day. The opening ceremony also features the crowning of the Mai Fest queen, the tapping of the first keg of Maibock beer and a performance from the Danube Cultural Society Children's Dance Troupe.

Yatchak said a 30-piece band from the Ismaning School of Music from Ismaning, Germany, will also perform as part of the opening ceremonies. Ismaning is Germantown's sister city.

Entertainment continues throughout the day Saturday and concludes with a performance from The Toys, a cover band slated to take the stage from 7:30 p.m. until midnight.

Sunday's activities run from noon until 8 p.m. and features Johnny Hoffman, the Pommersche Tanzdell Freistadt Dancers and the Kenny Brandt Band.

Cover charge for night performers

Traditional German cuisine, as well as American food will be available throughout the whole event.

The festival is free to attend, however, there is a $5 cover charge for the Friday and Saturday evening band performances.

Proceeds from the festival benefit the Deutschstadt Heritage Foundation, a nonprofit organization "that's mission is to maintain German heritage and contributes to activities in the village that add to the quality of life in Germantown," Yatchak said.

The foundation contributes to a host of activities in the village including the Fourth of July festivities, the Christmas parade, post prom events at the high school and the Germantown Police Department's canine unit.

"I think it's an opportunity to sort of be enriched by the German heritage of the area. It provides a venue of food and entertainment that are both German and American in nature and it helps the foundation continue to support the community in other ways," Yatchak said.

For a schedule of events, visit GermantownMaiFest on Facebook.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Mai Fest, annual German Spring Festival

WHEN: 5 p.m. to midnight Friday; 11:30 a.m. to midnight Saturday; noon to 8 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: corner of Mequon Road and Squire Drive

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