Lenz Fest to celebrate historical museum

The Gillespie County Historical Society will unveil its new annual springtime festival, Lenz Fest, on June 19-21. 

Lenz Fest will celebrate the spring season in the Texas Hill Country and commemorate the historical significance of the early German pioneers.

In doing so, the museum decided to honor an individual that has shown the “pioneer spirit” in the community and Gillespie county.

“It is with great pride that the board of GCHS selected the Dian Graves Owen Foundation and Dian Stai as our first-ever honoree,” said Annette Tilley, board member and event co-chair.  “The GCHS has been the grateful beneficiary of Mrs. Stai’s dedication, benevolence and support. Mrs. Stai has left no part of the Pioneer Museum untouched by her extraordinary generosity. Her financial support runs the gamut from underwriting special events to preserving the Dambach-Besier House. Those who attend the luncheon, cocktail party and the appraisal day will celebrate spring in a beautiful way by honoring this woman, a treasure in our community.”

‘Hats Off’

The public is invited to take part in the kickoff event by attending the “Hats Off to our Treasures” luncheon on Thursday, June 19. 

“We thought it would be great fun to give ladies a special event to wear their most beautiful hats, be greeted with a glass of bubbly champagne, enjoy delicious cuisine from My Own Chef, all the while local celebrities take to the runway,” said Brenda Newman, co-chair.

Virginia Muncey, of Neiman Marcus style show fame, has orchestrated a fashion show featuring creations from many of Fredericksburg’s stores and boutiques. 

“We are very fortunate to have Maggie Gillespie providing her always beautiful floral flourishes for the luncheon and cocktail party,” Newman said.

Luncheon starts at 11:30 a.m. with a champagne reception and will be held at St. Mary’s Holy Family Center, 306 West San Antonio Street.

Tickets are $65 per person, and sponsored table reserved seating for eight is $1,000. Due to the venue, seating is limited.

Cocktail Party

“Treasures Cocktail Party” starts at 6:30 p.m., Friday, June 20. Dr. Charles Schmidt will orchestrate the evening’s heavy hors d’oeuvres.

GCHS will showcase some of the artifacts from the Pioneer Museum and the presentation of the 2014 Pioneer Spirit Award to Mrs. Stai. 

The list of “Treasures” to be displayed includes Englebert Krauskopf guns, Nimitz Hotel wash basin set, Wertheim family zithers, Alonzo Eugene Lewis wooden music box, Friederich Wilhelm Lange clock and the 1665 Luther Bible. 

“With the instrumental help of Glen Treibs, we are proud to be unveiling our latest acquisition — John O. Meusebach’s German silver, pictures and journal,” said Dr. James Lindley, acting director and board president. “In the coming months, additional items from Meusebach’s descendants will be arriving.”

The Treasures Cocktail Party will be held in the Gillespie County Historical Society Sanctuary, entrance at 312 West San Antonio Street.  Cost is $50 per person.

‘What’s It Worth?’

The third and final event of this year’s Lenz Fest celebration is the return of “What’s It Worth?” set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 21 at the GCHS Sanctuary, entrance 312 West San Antonio Street.

Renowned clock and antique dealer H. Karl Scharold has assembled a group of appraisers to visit with those who want to bring in their treasures and trinkets for evaluation.

“It is always fun to find out what our heirlooms are really worth on a monetary level,” Tilley said.

Appraisal for one item will be $15 and three items for $40. Reservations for “What’s It Worth?” are not required.

For the other events, organizers ask attendees to make reservations early, as space is limited. Last day for reservation is Monday, June 16 for the luncheon and cocktail party. 

Checks may be made payable to GCHS, 325 West Main Street, Fredericksburg, Texas 78624. Credit cards and PayPal are accepted. Purchases may be made online at the website www.pioneermuseum.net.

Anyone who is interested in becoming an underwriter of Lenz Fest or becoming a member of GCHS is asked to call the museum at 830-990-8441.

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