German music, food and enthusiasm trumps Oktoberfest rain – Chicago Tribune

The lively sounds of polka music and delectable scent of Bavarian chicken filled the grounds of Naper Settlement Friday evening, the first night of Naperville’s annual Oktoberfest celebration.

“I grew up listening to German music. My grandparents and relatives came from Germany. It reminds me of my youth,” said Tom Ulke, of Naperville, who didn’t let a little rain stop him from singing along with the Alpine Thunder band as they performed.

“They know how to party,” said Jan Ulke, Tom’s wife, who said the last time they attended Naperville’s Oktoberfest was many years ago, when it was held downtown and run by the Rotary Club of Naperville.

The traditional autumn celebration was taken over by Naper Settlement about a decade ago and this year it’s been expanded to three days, said Benjamin Nau, director of marketing for the Settlement.


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