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Polka into Oktoberfest or rock, sample Sauce Boss

Crystal River features German food and beer while Rock Crusher Canyon brings on Johnny Rivers and bluesman Bill Wharton.

By JORGE SANCHEZ

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 6, 2001


Crystal River features German food and beer while Rock Crusher Canyon brings on Johnny Rivers and bluesman Bill Wharton.

The weekend entertainment scene includes an Oktoberfest celebration in Crystal River and a concert by rock 'n' roll legend Johnny Rivers at Rock Crusher Canyon Amphitheater.

The 22nd annual Oktoberfest, sponsored by the Citrus Sertoma Show, hits full stride today. Look for a huge tent on the grounds of Plantation Inn, U.S. 19 and Fort Island Trail.

The Oktoberfest features live music by the DeLeon Band, which plays traditional polkas and contemporary pop music. The event is famous for offering a wide array of German foods. The menu includes bratwurst, cheddarwurst, potato cakes, liverwurst and sauerkraut, along with chilled German beers.

A carnival midway offers rides and games. Oktoberfest hours are 11 a.m. to midnight today and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $1.

An arts and crafts festival, recreational vehicle and boat show, will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Sunday at the Crystal River Mall, U.S. 19 N. The arts and crafts show is sponsored by Crystal River Rotary Club and will have about 70 exhibitors. Admission is free, but a $1 donation used to support local charities is requested.

The weekend peaks tonight with the Johnny Rivers concert at Rock Crusher Canyon Amphitheater, 275 S Rock Crusher Road. Rivers, a two-time Grammy winner known for hits such as Secret Agent Man, Memphis, Poor Side of Town and Mountain of Love, will headline a concert beginning at 7 p.m. The opening act is bluesman Bill Wharton, "the Sauce Boss.' General admission tickets are $15, VIP tickets are $30 and parking for general admission is $5. Call 795-1313.

The music and food continue Sunday at Rock Crusher Canyon Garden Pavilion. Singer John Stevens will perform on acoustic guitar from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the brunch. Stevens has appeared on national television and opened for top acts in concert tours.

The menu for the brunch includes an omelet and a meat-carving station with roast beef, ham and lamb. Other dishes are seafood thermidor, beef stroganoff, smoked salmon, and chicken and dumplings. Breakfast items are eggs Benedict, sausage, home fries, grits, quiche, fruits, muffins and croissants, homemade desserts, coffee, tea and juice. Cost is $9.95.

Here are other weekend highlights:

CABARET EXTENDED: The musical Cabaret will have an extra and final show to raise funds for disaster relief efforts at 2 p.m. Sunday at Playhouse 19, 865 U.S. 19 S, Crystal River. Tickets are $15.

BIKE RIDE: The seventh annual Rails to Trails Bike Ride begins at 7 a.m. Sunday at the N Apopka trail head of the Withlacoochee State Trail, Inverness. Rides up to 100 miles are available. The entry fee is $15 in advance, $20 day of ride. Call 527-3263 or e-mail harnage1@infi.net or chriscycle@baldhead.com.

JAZZ JAM: The Citrus Jazz Society has its season opening monthly jam at 1:30 p.m. Sunday in the Hampton Room of Andre's Restaurant in Citrus Hills. A $5 donation for nonmembers. Memberships are $17, single; $25, family. Call Ken Lattin at 795-8983.

NEW FOLK SERIES. Jon Semmes and the Florida Friends are the opening act for a new monthly folk music concert series at the Floral City Community Building, 8370 E Orange Ave., Floral City. Music will be from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5. Call 637-4203.

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