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EatBeat: Lake Worth Oktoberfest Celebrates 37 Years

October 7th, 2010 · 1 Comment

King Ludwig and bride, and leiderhosen-clad servers represent Oktoberfest

It’s remarkable that fewer than 400 people put on a festival the size of the American German Club’s Oktoberfest each year. Last year, more than 20,000 fest-goers attended the party, eating and drinking their way through miles of tubes of bratwurst, tanker trucks of beer — and doing the Chicken Dance till their elbows ached.

The hard-working folks at the Club start seven months out planning the event – held Oct. 8-10 and 15-17 this year – according to Ralf Bahr. He’s spokesman for the festival that has grown from a small event in a building and tent to cover 10 acres of the property, with carnival rides, bands from Europe, and two weekends of festivities.

Thuringer bratwurst - a German tradition

Upwards of 300 volunteers get involved to help out – with Club members decorating the site and creating floats and preparing the foods. More than 3500 servings of pork schnitzel falls on the shoulders of Traudel Aengheiser, who’s busy making the foods fresh this week. Hundreds of pounds of brats are brought in to be grilled for the crowds; they remain the top food at the event.

German Bands direct from Munich

“We start our monthly committee meetings in April, then in August they’re weekly, and now, we’re down to the wire,” he said in a phone chat. He was making plans for a trip to the airport to collect the German bands – always a highlight for fest-goers. The two bands fly in from Munich, where they first play the original Oktoberfest there for the Lowenbrau Beer group, then come here. “We’re lucky to get them again,” Bahr said.

Aware that the economy may put a pinch on the festival attendance, the Club voted to keep the prices the same as last year. “We’ve also set aside Sunday as a more family-oriented day. You can buy a wristband for kids’ rides for all day now – not just for designated hours, so if you come on Saturday or Sunday at noon, you can ride all day long as much as you want for $20.” Several rides are new this year.

Friday and Saturday nights, the 20-somethings come to party, so the more sedate Sundays are geared to youngsters, he said. Parades of flags, costumed dancers and choral groups perform.

Black Forest cake, schnitzel and strudel

While the biergarten is a popular draw, food lovers come for the pork schnitzel and Thuringer bratwurst – the German classic. The Black Forest cake, a dark chocolate wonder soaked in Schnapps then layered with whipped cream and fat cherries, is also a best seller.

German liqueurs, Schnapps, Jaegermeister and a host of beers flow during the fest that is a celebration of a long-ago German king’s wedding feast. A dress-up version of the king and his bride are on hand during the fest, and lead the parades.

For a full event schedule, daily hours, and all the details, go to the American German Club’s Oktoberfest website.

American German Club

  • 5111 Lantana Road, Lake Worth
  • 561-967-6464; www.americangermanclub.org

Tags: The Eat Beat: Restaurant News · What's Happening Here

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Christa Varsalone // Sep 22, 2011 at 8:16 am

    I’m from Munich and I missed my Oktoberfest visits so this should be very interessting. I will definetly attend with some friends of mine. To bad I left my beautiful Landhaus Dirndls in Germany, thought I’ll never need them again.
    Looking forward to the beer, bratwurst and pretzels. See you soon !!!!

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