Oktoberfest crowd deemed largest ever

IN TRUE GERMAN STYLE, Wilfried and Rose Marie Mazanke danced a polka on Saturday while wearing the traditional German lederho-sen and dirndl. -- Standard-Radio Post/Ken Esten Cooke

By Ken Esten Cooke — 

This year’s Oktoberfest, enhanced by perfect fall weather, is believed to have set attendance records.

While numbers are still being counted, organizers think the event drew the most people to Marktplatz in its 33-year history.

It was the place to be, and not just for locals. People from around the state and nation, plus some from other countries, made the trip to experience Oktoberfest in German-rooted Fredericksburg.

“Overall, numbers indicate that it was stronger than last year,” said Debbie Farquhar-Garner, event coordinator. “The growth of Oktoberfest helps the overall impact on the town. With the sold-out lodging, people going to restaurants or to H-E-B, or buying a tank of gas, everybody benefits from this weekend.”

Ernie Loeffler, president of the Fredericksburg Convention and Visitor Bureau, said Mother Nature “smiled on us” so the celebration continued uninterrupted.


Council mulls new parking ordinance

AHEAD OF SCHEDULE — Reconstruction of the Austin Street Bridge, financed by the City of Fredericksburg, will be completed by the end of October, several weeks ahead of the original Nov. 20 projected completion date. The $412,000 project is being constructed by contractor BPI Environmental Services, Inc. of Austin. — Standard-Radio Post/Matt Ward

By Matt Ward


Concerned with an increase in complaints regarding trailers, boats and other heavy machinery left in front yards and on streets across town, the Fredericksburg City Council began discussions for an ordinance to regulate parking of large vehicles in residential and commercial areas during their regular meeting Monday.

No action was taken on the proposed ordinance, which will be revised by city staff before the council takes up the ordinance again at a later meeting.


Proposed ordinance

According to the proposed ordinance, city-wide parking should be limited to parking in front yards on proper surfaces or in side yards only where the vehicle is screened and on a proper surface.

Loading and unloading, as well as parking for construction projects during daylight hours, would be exempted uses.


Boerne tops all in Hill Country Marching Festival

FHS SAXOPHONISTS, from left, James Drury, Juan Maldonado, John Adam Castaneda and Danielle Trinkle perform their routine in breezy weather Saturday at FHS Stadium. – Standard-Radio Post/Ken Esten Cooke

Boerne High School finished as grand champion in the Hill Country Marching Festival, held at Fredericksburg High School Stadium on Saturday.

FHS Band Director John Rauschuber said crowds supported “a great festival,” which wrapped up with an exhibition-only performance by the Pride of the Texas Hill Country, the FHS Band, at 6:30 p.m.

Boerne, a Class 3A school, scored an 89.5 to top the 15 marching band entries ranging from Class A through Class 4A. Rounding out the top five and scores were: 2nd, Class A San Saba, 81.8; 3rd, Class 3A Hondo, 79.4; 4th, Class 2A Blanco, 75.8; and 5th, Class A Harper, 73.6.

The Harper Longhorn Band performed “A Bridge to the Future,” by Barry Hurt, featuring “Breaking Ground, High Steel Blues, Cement Mixer, Percussion Feature, America the Beautiful and Git ’R Done.”


Local WWII veteran Shafer visits Tomb of the Unknowns

LOCAL VETERAN Bernice Shafer takes a seat at the Nurses Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. Shafer, who served as a U.S. Army nurse in World War II, was one of many Fredericksburg and area WWII vets who took an Honor Flight to the nation’s capital. She also visited the Tomb of the Un-knowns to pay her respects to a service member who died in her arms; she never knew his name. — Photo courtesy Cam King

By Richard Zowie —

Sixty-eight years ago, Bernice Shafer served as a nurse in World War II in the Philippines toward the war’s end.

Even after the war ended, she carried a memory that haunted her for many years.

Shafer, along with about 30 local veterans, visited the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 28. She helped lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns, in Arlington National Cemetery, her way of paying her respects to the nameless, mortally-wounded soldier she comforted in his final moments nearly seven decades ago.

She spent two years as a nurse in the U.S. Army and would later serve three years in the reserves of the Army Air Corps (now the Air Force).

Following basic training in Camp Carson, Colo. (now called Fort Carson) in 1944, Shafer received orders to go to the Philippines in 1945.

“General Douglas MacArthur cleared the path for us to go there,” she said.


'Miracle Worker' to debut

WATER! — Anne Sullivan, played by Christina Fait, tries to teach the sign for “water” to Helen Keller, played by Meredith Harper. The two are part of the cast of The Miracle Worker, which opens Friday, Oct. 11, at 7:30 p.m., at the Fredericksburg Theater Company. The production continues weekends through Oct. 27. — Standard-Radio Post/Richard Zowie

Opening night for the Fredericksburg Theater Company production of “The Miracle Worker” will be Friday, Oct. 11, at 7:30 p.m.

The play will be performed for three weeks on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and then Sunday matinee performances at 2 p.m.

The final performance will be Sunday, Oct. 27.

The Tony Award-winning play focuses on Helen Keller, who, though born being able to see and hear, loses both of those senses at an early age due to an illness. Left unable to hear, see or even talk, she then receives guidance from her teacher, Anne Sullivan.

Ashleigh Goff, who is directing the FTC production, described the nature of the show — especially the set — as “very abstract.”

“There aren’t complete walls, but you can tell where walls go,” she explained. “All of the different characters have such big personalities. They all must work cohesively together. It’s also physically very challenging.”


Agave Gallery: Petite space packed with western delights

AGAVE GALLERY owner and artist John Bennett poses with his "Belle Starr" bronze, one of a series of vintage cowgirl statues he made. While Bennett has moved on to other projects, he said the cowgirl bronzes proved popular. Those followed his cowboy artwork. -- Standard-Radio Post/Ken Esten Cooke

By Ken Esten Cooke —

Agave Gallery feels a little bit like your first apartment, as it is on the small side, but the treasures inside spark huge reactions.

Visitors are welcomed to the gallery — housed in an 1880s limestone Sunday house — by a well-kept native plant garden. For 15 years, the building was a wedding chapel. Artist John Bennett and wife Cathy live in what used to be a radiator shop behind the gallery, which they opened eight years ago.

Inside, Bennett’s detailed, flowing sculpture work takes prominence, but the subdivided rooms have artistic delights around each corner.

Bennett’s work is filled with natural-looking, moving subjects, but what is hidden is the meticulous detail and work style of each piece.


Firefighters firing up fish fryers

A dinner of golden fried fish with all the trimmings, prize drawing and live auction will be offered by the Stonewall Volunteer Fire Department and First Responders on Saturday, Oct. 12, at the Stonewall Chamber of Commerce grounds.

In addition to the fried fish, the menu for the Annual Fall Fish Fry includes French fries, sweet rice, beans, cole slaw, all the trimmings and a dessert.

Cost of the meal is by donation.

Serving begins at 5 p.m.

To go along with the fish fry on Saturday night will be a prize drawing and live auction.

Drawing for prizes will be held throughout the evening.

Prize tickets are $5 each or six for $20.


FISD trustees slate meetings

October will be a busy month for the Fredericksburg Independent School District board of trustees as they will hold meetings discussing the superintendent search and potential capital projects.

The meetings will be held at the Central Administration Building, at 234 Friendship Lane.

Superintendent search

On Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 6:30 p.m., the board will discuss a presentation by the Texas Association of School Boards and approval of leadership qualifications and characteristics, regarding the search for a new superintendent.

The new search became necessary when longtime superintendent Dr. Marc Williamson announced he will retire at the end of the fall semester.

Butch Felkner of the TASB has been working with FISD in their search for Williamson’s replacement. A meeting was recently held to gather public input for the search.


Daily Update for Tuesday, Oct. 8


  • The Gillespie County Fair and Festivals Association annual stockholder's meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Gillespie County Fair Grounds.
  • No public comment was aired last night before the Fredericksburg City Council during a public hearing on the proposed annexation of 33 lots comprising Stone Ridge Subdivision Unit No. 8. A second hearing is set at the city's next regular session at 7 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Gillespie County Law Enforcement Center.
  • City officials also discussed, but took no action on an ordinance related to the parking of vehicles near residences.



FISD holds public forum for superintendent search

By Richard Zowie— The latest step in the Fredericksburg Independent School District’s search for a new superintendent was a Tuesday, Oct. 1 public forum.

The forum consisted of Texas Association of School Boards executive search services director Butch Felkner meeting with three groups: staff, then the public, then the school board. He stipulated that those speaking or sending in comments did not need to give their names, so as to not influence trustees. The new hire will replace Dr. Marc Williamson, who is retiring after this semester.

Felkner asked the public three questions. He explained to the small gathering that these questions were for information purposes and that there were no right or wrong answers.

First question: What do you consider to be the top one or two strengths of this district?


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