The cheers of the crowd will be a deciding factor alongside judges’ evaluations of Divas in Dirndls Friday, July 18 (please see box). About eight divas will promenade as their fictional biographies are read and judges evaluate appearances and presentations. Three winners will be crowned as Lady Diva, Princess Diva and Queen Diva.
“It’s all done tongue in cheek, and it’s great fun,” commented Paul Brockman, who will be the contest’s master of ceremonies.
In fact, fun is the theme and the title Freudenfest means fun (or more literally mirth) in German, according to Paul Selkirk, Freudenfest committee chairman.
The 2014 weekend starts Friday, July 18, with kids’ games and music by Randy Underhill and Dave Smith, and runs until late Saturday, July 19, according to the Web site www.Freudenfest.com, which has more details and registration forms.
Activities take place on both sides of Pearl Street between Main and Water streets in Oldenburg.
“It was established in 1976 — the United States’ 200th birthday — as a day of fun,” he said, “and (the late) Jack Bogenschutz suggested the name Freudenfest. So, that’s what we called it.
“The part that’s most fun to me is seeing what we can do in the community with the money raised after all the fun.”
The funds have paid for a brick street and streetlights, and Freudenfest was a major supporter of restoring the “onion dome” to a church in 2010 after a 60-year absence, according to Selkirk.
Freudenfest grew in 1987 for Oldenburg’s sesquicentennial (150-year anniversary) with more volunteers and more attendees, and again in 2000. The committee had to recruit extra volunteers in both years to accommodate the growth.
“Community organizations do this festival, and it benefits the whole community,” Selkirk continued.
“The people make this happen, and we have a lot of good people here,” he said, “They’ve been working together really well for several years now.