Wayne and Kathleen Messmer, grand marshals, salute parade visitors in Twin Lakes at Saturday’s Libertyfest (Earlene Frederick/The Report).

Messmer shares Anthem voice with Twin Lakes

By Jason Arndt

After last weekend’s Libertyfest parade, the Village of Twin Lakes and Chicago Cubs have a person in common, Wayne Messmer.

Messmer, known for his baritone voice, has shared it with Chicago area sports fans, including the Cubs, through a rendition of the National Anthem for at least three decades.

Most recently, Messmer sang the National Anthem before Saturday’s Aquanut Water Ski Show at Lance Park.

Messmer, who has a summer home on Lake Benedict, also served as the Libertyfest parade marshal with his wife, Kathleen.

“It is a great honor to get the title, you get to wave and say hello to all of these people who are having fun,” Messmer said. “It’s small town America.”

For Kathleen, who reportedly met Messmer at a Broadway audition, it was an opportunity to meet more people in the community.

“There are thousands of towns like this all across the country having something like this,” Kathleen said. “It is nice to see a community where they all know each other and have that camaraderie.”

The community, she said, is one of the primary reasons the Messmer’s chose to live near Lake Benedict.

Compared to their regular home in Glenview, Ill., Lake Benedict delivers a serenity and quiet environment.

“When we are at home in Illinois, we get on the highway, and we are here within an hour. It is the perfect deal,” Kathleen said. “It is quiet, very friendly people.”

Wayne agreed, adding he frequents area businesses when he is in the area.

“This is the biggest and closest cluster of bars and restaurants to our house, we like Twin Lakes,” said Wayne, who recalled visiting the area as a child.

Long-time coming
For 33 years, Wayne sang the National Anthem at Wrigley Field, where the Cubs suffered a World Championship drought lasting more than a century.

However, last year, the Cubs snapped the drought after defeating the Cleveland Indians in seven games.

With the win, the Cubs treated Chicago fans to a ticker tape parade, which was a relief for Wayne.

“We were fortunate enough to be in the Cubs championship parade down in Chicago,” said Wayne, who showed his World Series Championship ring. “After 33 years of singing for the Cubs, it was finally nice to see it happen.”

According to his website, Messmer started singing the National Anthem at Chicago Blackhawks games.

Since then, Wayne became nationally known as the “Voice of the National Anthem.”


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