Big Bear, Ca, October 7, 2011, 1:00pm –
In 1985, the current mayor of the city of Big Bear Lake, John Eminger, with the help of Elsa Treutloff, a Big Bear resident originally from Germany, established a sister city of Abtenau, Austria. Treutloff, who owned the Christmas Shop in the village spent time in Abtenau as a young child and helped Mayor Eminger create the sister city program. Over the years over 120 children from Big Bear between the ages of 11 and 14 have traveled to Abtenau, while 120 children from Abtenau have come to Big Bear on exchange. In 1987, a band from Abtenau came and performed at the dedication of City Hall, and for the last four years has sent a dance troupe to Big Bear. This year the dance troupe, known as the Abtenau Schuhplattler Dancers, are performing at Oktoberfest, and will also be holding a special performance tonight at the Performing Arts Center. Linda Reinik, who has been the chair of the sister city committee since 1989 told KBHR that tonights performance will be a lot of fun, and that the dancers will be in traditional Austrian wear, and are a lively group. The performance will take place at 7:00pm tonight, and admission is free. The dancers will also be performing this weekend at Oktoberfest.