Alpenfest worth a trip to Northeast Oregon


Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 11.05.03 AMWALLOWA LAKE — Lilting waltzes and polkas will fill the air around southern Wallowa Lake as Oregon’s Alpenfest brings Swiss-Bavarian culture to Wallowa County for the 39th year
Sept. 28-Oct. 1.

Oregon’s Alpenfest entices visitors from near and far, taking place in Enterprise, Joseph and Wallowa Lake, with the main performances at the century-old Edelweiss Inn next to the Wallowa Lake Tramway.

Two dance bands, guest accordionists, a Swiss yodeler and alphorn players will provide the musical background for the only Swiss-Bavarian festival in the western U.S.

The festival also features traditional cuisine including scratch-baked strudel from Sugar Time Bakery in Enterprise, bratwurst imported from the Midwest sausage-and-polka belt and sauerkraut made at Mt. Joseph Family Foods in Joseph.

Small-batch Alpenfest beer will be flowing freely. The beer was brewed specially for Oregon’s Alpenfest by Terminal Gravity Brewery in Enterprise.

Other popular attractions are food and craft vendors at the Alpine Fair and four days of
Accordions at Alpenfest.

Enterprise hosts the festival’s official kickoff on Sept. 28 — a public procession down Main Street to the opening ceremony at the Courthouse gazebo followed by guest accordionists playing at Terminal Gravity, where the ceremonial tapping of the first keg of Alpenfest beer takes place. Headliner is virtuoso accordionist Alicia Baker.

Festivities move to Wallowa Lake and Joseph on Sept. 29-30, when accordionists play on Main Street in Joseph and the main performances are staged at the Edelweiss Inn.

Performers include The Polkatones dance band, the European Take-Out Band, the Tirolean Dancers of Oregon, Swiss yodeler Art Brogli and local alphornist Bruce Coutant.

Free waltz and polka lessons will be provided on Sept. 29-30 and Oct. 1 by Randy and Ashley Thull, championship polka dancers from Wisconsin.

Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 also will feature the outdoor Alpine Breakfast prepared by volunteers from the Wallowa Lake Tourism Association and accompanied by visiting accordionists.

Oct. 1 will be Patriots Day, with free admission for military service members, veterans, firefighters and law enforcement officers.

Before the official events, the OK Theatre in Enterprise will show a new version of “Heidi” at 6 p.m. Sept. 27. Admission is $5 for adults and teens, $1 for kids 12 and younger, but they can get in free if in traditional Alpine costume.

The complete schedule, ticket information and other details are available at www. or 541-426-2577.

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