Freeman to host 45th Schmeckfest April 3, 4 and 5

Freeman to host 45th Schmeckfest April 3, 4 and 5 A "smorgasbord" of activities awaits visitors to the 45th annual Schmeckfest planned for April 3, 4, and 5 on the campus of Freeman Academy.

While Schmeckfest began as a traditional ethnic meal in 1959, today it also includes displays, demonstrations and programs reflecting the rich heritage of the Freeman community.

And while the tickets for the meal featuring German foods are sold out for all three nights, guests who do not have tickets to the meal can still find plenty to do at Schmeckfest.

Highlighting each day is the community musical production of Oliver! presented each evening. A limited number of reserved seats for the show are still available. General admission tickets will also be available at the Pioneer Hall box office starting at 1 p.m. each day of Schmeckfest. In addition, an encore matinee performance of Oliver! will be presented Sunday afternoon, April 6 at 2 p.m.

Many other activities are free and begin early afternoon April 3, 4, and 5. Among them are:

* Free demonstrations and displays of ethnic crafts and culinary skills, including sausage-making, new years cookies, cheese pockets, noodle making, weaving, etc., and sales of ethnic foods from 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Schmeckfest sausage can be ordered, regular or smoked, at the sausage booth or in advance by calling 925-7574.

* Free historical and musical presentations, 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m.

* Free community art display at Music Hall, the original Freeman College building celebrating its 100th anniversary this year with an open house 1 to 6:30 p.m. daily.

* Heritage Hall Museum and Archives including the newly-opened "Plains Indian Artifacts Exhibit," 1 to 8 p.m.

* The Schmeckfest Country Kitchen featuring sale of ethnic foods, 1 to 6:30 p.m.

* The "Schmeck Shoppe" snack shop, 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

* The community theatre of Lionel Bart's popular musical Oliver! takes the stage nightly at 8 p.m. along with a Sunday 2 p.m. matinee. Based on the Dickens' classic Oliver Twist, the musical is a mix of tragedy and joy and includes classics like Food, Glorious Food, Where is Love? and Consider Yourself. The Freeman production includes a cast of 35 adults and 47 youth who are members of the Freeman Area Children's Choir as well as an 11-member orchestra.

Sponsored by the Freeman Academy Auxiliary, Schmeckfest began in 1959. All proceeds go to Freeman Academy, a Christian middle school and high school founded in 1900.

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