By Barb Charzuk
After a year’s absence because Covid 19 restrictions prevented the four-piece band from leaving Germany and traveling to Fountain Hills, Die Echten Waldbaum returns to Oktoberfest to entertain from 5 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Sept. 24 and 25, in Fountain Park.
Band leader Martin Moser said the musicians used the pandemic lockdown to work on a new CD that they will introduce at the local celebration. The album title is appropriately named “Asï Es La Vida – That’s Life – So Ist Das Leben”, reflecting the worldwide situation, he said. Lyrics are in German, English and Spanish.
The band plays traditional Oktoberfest Volksmusik as well as a variety of contemporary tunes to get the audience on the dance floor. Moser plays keyboard, trumpet and handles vocals. Rickie McDowell plays guitar and vocals and Vlado Dugulin is lead vocalist. Health issues prevent accordionist and vocalist Frank O. Weber from coming this year. His replacement will be Alan, a “passionate and experienced accordionist” from the United Kingdom, said Moser.
“We are looking forward to seeing you all again,” said Moser. Fountain Hills is a favorite performance venue “with so many friendly folks who enjoy our performances and have become friends over the years,” said Moser.
The original Oktoberfest was organized in Munich, Germany, in 1810 to celebrate the marriage of Bavarian King Ludwig I and has continued over the years. For the second consecutive year because of Covid, the world’s largest folk festival is not taking place this year in Munich.
Authentic German music is just one of the offerings at the local Oktoberfest presented by the Fountain Hills Chamber of Commerce. Mouthwatering foot-long brats, German potato salad, sauerkraut, potato pancakes, pretzels, and apple strudel will be served. German-brewed beers, wine, and soda will be sold. Bounce houses and an obstacle course will occupy youngsters.
Celebrants will compete by playing the Alphorn, length of time to hold a beer stein and the best German outfits for men, women, and children.
Pre-sale tickets are available for $5 online through Sept. 19. Admission at the gate will be $10 and free for children 12 and under. Anyone wearing authentic German attire will receiver $5 in tickets for food or beverage.