The leaves on the trees have begun to turn bright shades of yellow, orange and red, and while the days seem warm, the nights offer crisp, fresh air. Fall has snuck into our summer, and with that comes Oktoberfest celebrations.
One does not need to book a flight to Germany, or travel north to the city, but step into Cene’s Four Season’s Park in Shorewood on Sept. 30 and experience the foods, beer and culture of the German heritage.
Since 2013, the village of Shorewood has hosted its Oktoberfest event at the park as a “fun event for people to get out with the Shorewood community, listen to live music, enjoy the crisp fall air and enjoy a few drinks,” Village of Shorewood Recreation and Events coordinator Luke Gunderson said.
The event, sponsored by Christopher B. Burke Engineering, kicks off at 4 p.m. and ends at 11:30 p.m. Family time has been established from
4 to 8 p.m. with food and music.
Wurst Kitchen, which has made sausages and smoked meats since 1895, will have bratwurst large enough to hang out of the bun, plated dinners, strudel and large soft pretzels for snacks, with water and soda to wash it all down.
Kozol Brothers will provide a variety of beers, such as Coors Light and Miller Light, and Samuel Adams Oktoberfest and German-style Oktoberfest imports. On the lighter side, Angry Orchard and Twisted Teas will be available from 4 to 11 p.m. for the 21 and over crowd.
During the family time under the 180-foot tent, Ed Wagner’s Lustige Blaskapelle out of Chicago will play traditional German, Austrian and Czech music for revelers to listen and dance to. From 9 to 11 p.m. cover band the Lounge Puppets, also of Chicago, will play a variety of rock music.
During the band breaks and before the Lounge Puppets take to the stage, an old Bavarian tradition called Masskrugstemmen or “beer stein holding” will take place for those who think they are strong enough to hold a 1-liter stein filled with beer, which rounds out to be about five pounds.
The five pounds do not seem like much weight, until the participant learns that they have to hold the filled stein in one hand, with arm extended straight in front of them and parallel to the ground. The person who can hold the stein the longest wins a free T-shirt.
This event might seem silly to some, but there actually are national championships in this sport that take place in New York City on the third Saturday in September each year. It’s a true test of strength and endurance.