The Founding of Our Cultural Group by Emily Fricker

by Emily Fricker, Founder

In January of 1965, Antonia Kreutzer, Emma Muller, and Emily Fricker requested of the Board to officially found a Dance Group. Permission was granted and we began to search for dancers. This was done by word of mouth. As some children had performed in the previous year at either Kirchweihs or at our Christmas Party, we were on our way.

We had two groups – an older group of boys and girls ages 9 to 13 and a younger group of girls only ages 5 to 8. It was decided to have our first performance in May and we began practicing weekly as soon as possible. The older group consisted of Fred Weber, Anthony Wagner, Paul Serwo, Joseph Weissgerber, Michael Wagner, Stefan Muller, Otto Fischer, Ludwig Frick, Florian Kempf, Mary Ellen Kerper, Mary Weber, Betty Baranyos, Kathy Silcox, Ruth Kreutzer, Rosemarie Muller, Patty Noel, Julie Ann Wagner and Linda Muller. The younger girls group consisted of Betty Ann Kempf, Vicky Fischer, Marlene Fricker, Linda Muller, Debbie Bradley, Debbie Menhardt, Lorry Walter, Renate Weissgerber, Linda Galgon, Kathy Serwo, Kathy Wagner, Heidi Menhardt, Barbara Bradley and Karen Frick. Each group would perform two folk dances. The older group would perform a May Pole Dance and an old German folk dance to the tune of “Freut euch des Lebens” while the younger group performed the “Kinderpolka” and “Hansel and Gretel.” 

Some of the board members smiled sarcastically as they watched our practice sessions as they walked through the clubhouse (the little “old shack” that used to be next door to our present clubhouse.) They thought it would be impossible for these little kids to dance. We would see at our Folk Dance Festival in May! 

On Sunday, May 16, we held our first Folk Dance Festival, which was titled “MAY FESTIVAL.” There was a great turnout and one of the best parts of this affair was the various game booths, which were enjoyed by all the children. We also held a raffle. The prizes were a soccer ball and two Tyrolean dolls. Another interesting event was the climbing of the May Pole. Although many tried, only a few succeeded. At 5:30 our dance groups performed. Most of the girls were dressed in blue with a small white flower print and a yellow apron while others were in off-white with a rose print and a rose-colored apron. The boys were dressed alike in white shirts, green tie, and gray slacks. The maypole and the stage were decorated with beautiful flowers. The two groups performed four folk dances and the most beautiful part of all was the winding and unwinding of the ribbons during the May Pole Dance. It was beautifully executed and the children received hearty applause.

All the mothers and fathers of the dancers helped make this event a success as well as those who worked in the booths; those who prepared and sold food both inside and outside the clubhouse; the various committees – entertainment, bar, sports, ladies; the musicians and all who helped in any way, however small. Last but not least, the wonderful children in the dance groups who worked diligently for three long months. We were very proud of them.

Practice resumed after a two-month vacation. The kids were happy and eager to get back to work. We welcomed many new children and our two groups remained divided into 5 to 8 year olds and 9 to 13 year olds. We began practicing for the “JAHRMARKT-KIRCHWEIHFEST” which was scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, September 18 and 19.

The couples who participated were:

Herbert Menhardt  &  Debbie Bradley

Richard Michi  &  Heidi Menhardt

Bobby Walter  &  Lorraine Walter

Werner Fricker  &  Betty Ann Kempf

Marty Wendel  &  Barbara Bradley

Tommy Heck  &  Debbie Menhardt

Stevie Blank  &  Renate Weissgerber

Stevie Paul  &  Vicki Fischer

Fred Weber  &  Betty Baranyos

Anthony Wagner  &  Mary Weber

Joe Weissgerber  &  Rosemarie Muller

Paul Serwo  &  Patty Noel

Herbert Michi  &  Julie Ann Wagner

Michael Wagner  &  Ruth Kreutzer

Stefan Muller  &  Linda Muller

Otto Fischer  &  Kathy Wagner

Florian Kempf  &  Marlene Fricker

John Blank  &  Kathy Serwo

     This was the beginning!

We continue this proud tradition tonight with special performances by the Children’s Dance Group, Schuhplattler Group & German Hungarian Dancers 50 years later at this Anniversary Celebration & Reunion!

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