Celebrating German Heritage

A 200 year old tradition made its way from Germany to Naperville. Hundreds celebrated “Oktoberfest” at Naper Settlement, enjoying beer, brats, and bands during a crisp autumn weekend. One Naperville resident and his friend even donned their lederhosen to show their festive spirit.

“The Atmosphere is better than the past few years,” said Naperville resident Eric Bramwell. “They’ve done a fantastic job this year. The tent got bigger. The band’s great. I would have to say the atmosphere is my favorite part.”

“The bands are a great choice. They play a lot of great music,” said Scott Rzepka of Villa Park. “’Roll Out the Barrel’ is a good one. They do play it in Munich.”

The event is a fundraiser for the Naperville Heritage Society, which administers Naper Settlement. The 12-acre outdoor museum welcomes thousands of visitors each year to learn about the history of Naperville.

This year’s Oktoberfest was the settlement’s fourth annual and larger than ever, with more than 700 guests kicking off the two-day event on Friday.

“This is one big party. There are so many people inside our heated tent that are having a blast right now,” said Lauren Visher, the settlement’s Special Events Coordinator. “People are rocking their little hearts out to our German Oompah music.”

“This is a great event to kind of compliment all the other events that we’re having,” said Steve Grosskopf, the Chairman of the event. “This one kind of keys into the German Heritage from the roots of where Naperville came from.”

Last year’s Oktoberfest cashed in about $7,500 and while staff is still calculating this year’s profit, they hope to double that.

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