Oktoberfest ‘draws’ a crowd
Only two hours after opening its gates Friday, the German-American Social Club of Cape Coral proved it still knows how to throw a party German-style after a quarter of a decade.
The club kicked off its 25th annual Oktoberfest at 2101 S.W. Pine Island Road. The lively celebration runs this weekend and next weekend, from 4 p.m.-midnight Fridays, noon-midnight Saturdays and noon-9 p.m. Sundays. Before the sun even set Friday, German music drifted over the grounds and the parking lots quickly filled up.
Punta Gorda residents David and Donna Drury are far from new to the annual event. David Drury said he has been going to the Cape Oktoberfest for 20 years, while Donna Drury said they have attended regardless of sun, rain or hurricane winds, like Wilma’s.
“We came even that year,” David Drury said.
A native of Wisconsin, he explained that the local celebration reminds him of home.
“It’s wonderful,” David Drury said.
While he looks forward to the food, beer and music, Donna Drury said she enjoys the chicken dance — understandable considering the fun chicken hat that she had on Friday.
“And the people that work here,” she added of what else she looks forward to. “Their hearts are in what they do.”
The event features Budweiser products, along with German food favorites like potato pancakes and full dinners in Van Stueben Hall. Entertainment is provided all day, each day. The headliner this year is Blaskapelle Peng, which the club flew in from Germany.
Admission is $5 in advance from participating vendors or $6 at the gate. Kids under 12 are free.
For first-timers Mark and Jennifer Catron, the event sounded too good to pass up. The couple, recent transplants from Michigan who spent two years living in Germany while Mark Catron was in the Army, said they saw a flyer for the event and decided to come.
“We miss our German food,” Cape resident Jennifer Catron laughed.
“And the kids wanted to do the carnival rides,” Mark Catron said.
Oktoberfest features a children’s area that offers games, rides and activities for youth.
“Looks like a good deal,” he added.
Cape residents Gary and Carla Jackson were looking to have fun with friends Friday.
“We enjoyed it the last few times,” Gary Jackson said of the celebration.
“The music is nice,” he added. “It seems to be a well-done nice event.”
Carla Johnston said their German friend wanted to experience the local festival.
“He wants to see how it compares,” she said.
For more information, call the German-American Social Club at 283-1400 or visit the website at: www.gasc-capecoral.com.