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  • Writer's pictureJoey Amato

Athenaeum announces Karneval Prinz and Prinzessin

The Athenaeum Foundation announced Cliff and Loesje Chandler as the Prinz and Prinzessin of Karneval, together they make up the Prinzenpaar. Karneval is a celebration of German Heritage, that will be held in the Basile Theatre on Jan. 27 from 7–11pm. 


“Cliff and I are very excited to be serving as the Prinzenpaar for this year’s Karneval celebration,” said Loesje. “We value the celebration of German-American Heritage, and are especially thankful the Athenaeum Foundation finds ways to share this rich culture with the city of Indianapolis.”


Karneval highlights the crowning of the festival’s Prinzenpaar, a cherished tradition deeply rooted in the German community. The Prinzenpaar will serve as a royal couple the presides over the Karneval celebration and season.


Cliff is the current president of the Indianapolis Liederkranz and his wife, Loesje, is the choir director for the men's choir, and recently retired from directing the women’s choir. Loesje had directed the women's choir since its inception in 1997 and then the men's choir since 1980. The Indianapolis Liederkranz is a traditional German band and choir focused on preserving German heritage through song, music and the promotion of culturally focused activities.


In addition to highlighting the crowning of the Prinzenpaar, Karneval will include live music, dancing and jesters. Traditionally celebrated by pre-Christians as a means of driving out winter and evil spirits and welcoming in the springtime, it was later adopted by the church as a festive period to enjoy food, drink and revelry before the fasting and penitence of Lent.


“We are excited to bring Karneval back to the Athenaeum for the first time since the pandemic,” said Athenaeum Foundation president, Craig Mince. “This year’s masquerade ball will double as a celebration of the Athenaeum’s 125th anniversary.”


Tickets for Karneval are on sale now at $50 per person, and include entry, appetizers, entertainment and two signature drinks.


To learn more about the history of Karneval or to purchase tickets, please visit

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