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ORANGE : Street Fair Gears Up for Friday Opening

With a tradition of apple strudel, bratwurst and the ever-popular schuhplattler dancers, the Phoenix Club’s booth at the Orange International Street Fair promises once again to be “almost like Munich,” said Dietrich Hoffmann, event chairman for the German-American organization.

The Anaheim-based club is one of more than 90 groups sponsoring food stands at the 18th annual street fair this weekend in downtown Orange.

One of the original participants in the fair, The Phoenix Club’s booth is also one of the event’s most popular attractions, organizers say.

“We don’t make that much money, but we keep everyone happy,” Hoffmann said. “The food never stops.”

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Last year the group sold 18,000 bratwurst sausages, he said.

In addition to German food and beer, the group will present schuhplattler dancers, a troupe of 20 “shoe clappers” who will perform traditional folk dances. They will share the stage with The Connections, a local Bavarian band that will play oompah music.

Belly-dancing and mariachi music, Irish, Greek, jazz and bluegrass will also be heard on the fair’s eight stages throughout the weekend. Japanese, Greek, Irish, Turkish, Italian, Mexican and other ethnic groups will sponsor food booths.

“This really represents all of Orange County,” said Gail Hewitt, vice president of the fair committee.

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Also featured are 80 arts and crafts stands selling everything from hand-painted T-shirts to cowboy hats.

At the Children’s Village in Plaza Circle, youngsters are invited to be photographed with members of the Orange Fire Department. Police Department representatives will take childrens’ fingerprints free of charge.

Fair hours are Friday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.


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