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Tapping of the Golden Keg at Oktoberfest highlighted by Karl Friedline’s German anthem



For many fans of Oktoberfest in La Crosse, the party doesn’t really start until Karl sings the German national anthem.

Karl Friedline, 93 years old, was back at the festgrounds stage on Friday, singing at the Tapping of the Golden Keg.

The 1991 Festmaster has suggested that this might be the last time he performs the anthem at the keg ceremony.

The crowd chanted Karl’s name before the anthem, along with the name ‘Gail’ to salute Gail Cleary, who sat with Friedline. Gail’s late husband Russ Cleary was Festmaster in the late 80’s, after years in charge of the Heileman brewery.

The 62nd annual Oktoberfest officially began on Thursday, including the Torchlight Parade. The Maple Leaf Parade on Saturday morning starts near Rose and Gillette Streets, and winds downtown to the La Crosse Center.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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