Door County Folk Festival / Door County Contra Dance Weekend
Gerhard Bernhard
(Sister Bay, WI)
(Founder, Musician, Program Coordinator)



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Gerhard Bernhard is  a local Door County musician and entreprenuer who operates Handverks Music & Harp Center and Sunset Concert Cruises - an idea originating from an early DCFF event.  Gerhard was already an accomplished musician (piano and recorder) when he came to the United States from Germany in 1960.  He became fascinated by and addicted to the ethnic music to which he was exposed when he started folk dancing at the American Youth Hostel (AYH) in Chicago.  After retiring from a business career in the printing industry in Chicago, he began to spend the spring and summer months in Door County, where he fostered his interest in the arts and crafts.  Since he has made Door County his permanent residence, Gerhard had developed a keen interest in learning more about ethnic music and dance, and in playing, making and selling unusual musical instruments.  In 1980 he asked Paul to help him produce the first two festivals.  Two years later, they became equal partners and transformed the festival into one of Midwest's most popular dance & music weekends. Gerhard and his wife Grace operates Handwerks Music and Harp Center (, a source for unsual folk instruments and Handverks Gardens and Studio (, just outside of Sister Bay. Drop in for a visit.