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Oktoberfest continues this weekend

By Staff | Oct 24, 2019

After a wind-whipped but well-attended first weekend, the German-American Social Club’s 34th annual Oktoberfest moves to its final three days beginning today.

Oktoberfest continues Oct. 25-27 from 4 p.m.-midnight today, noon to midnight Saturday, and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday.

The grounds of the Social Club have transformed into the festival-like atmosphere of Munich, where beers will continue to be poured in abundance, copious amounts of food will be consumed and music and dancing will continue late into the evening.

Despite overnight and early morning rain Friday and Saturday, opening weekend drew a crowd and those attending said they had a great time.

Andreas Peske came all the way from Atlanta to be at the Cape Coral event.

“I come to celebrate the culture and to be in the atmosphere. I really like the music and shows this year,” Peske said. “It’s the hospitality of people hanging out.

“The atmosphere is fantastic, the people dress up, they love the food and the beer,” added Karen Schmidt, Andreas’ friend. “It’s a great experience for everyone. We have things for the children, teenagers and a trolley ride for everyone.”

Schmidt said she hoped everyone learned about the social impact of Oktoberfest.

“We want people to understand the culture of Bavarian people. Different people come together at the beer garden and the big tent, share where they’re from, the beer they like,” Schmidt said.

Scarlett Conrad, Ms. Oktoberfest 2016, was dressed to the nines with Fritz Pohler, her biggest fan. Conrad said she loves how welcoming it is, even after her reign ended.

“I love being here and seeing my family and friends, getting to dress up. Every day I have a different outfit. That’s what we girls do,” Conrad said. “My outfit comes directly from Germany and we like dressing up for this like we do for Halloween.”

Pohler, who said he has been to nearly every Oktoberfest here, as well as a few in Munich, has seen how the event has grown over the years.

“Every year this gets bigger and more organized. Now you know pretty much where everything is, from the gifts to the fancy steins and lederhosen,” Pohler said. “And I get to hang out with Ms. Oktoberfest.

This year’s Ms. Oktoberfest, Ashley Jones, was out meeting and greeting visitors and having a blast doing it.

“It’s been a great turnout. The beer is good the food is good and I’ve been making sure everyone is having a great time, being safe and having fun,” Jones said. “People are taking pictures of me and socializing and I love talking with everyone.”

The club has flown in the Zimmerer Kapelle band direct from Biberach to accompany many local musicians, such as Cape Coral’s own Hafenkapelle.

Authentic German food and beer, including their famous potato pancakes, brings residents from across the region to get a taste, literally, of what the German culture is all about.

There will be 10, yes, 10 beers imported from Germany available — the most the club has brought to Oktoberfest in their history.

“There will also be domestic beer, German wine and spirits, non-alcoholic beer, soft drinks and water available.

German favorites such as bratwurst, bauernwurst, German potato salad, sauerkraut, pretzels, schnitzel and sauerbraten will be served, along with much more from vendors on site.

Music is at the heart of each year’s Oktoberfest, with three stages and two dance floors, featuring non-stop live music and entertainment.

Other groups of talented musicians include the Bavaria Fun Band, from Monheim, Germany, the Manni Daum Trio, Hot Buttered Nuggets, Lee County Pipes & Drums, Peter Dee, Deb & The Dynamics and more.

Other activities include carnival rides and games, arts and crafts, beer steins, T-shirts, hats, prize drawings and a 2-acre Bavarian Biergarten.

Tickets are $6 at the gate; children 12 and under are admitted free.

Parking is free and the event is rain-or-shine.

The German-American Social Club is at 2101 SW Pine Island Road in Cape Coral.

For more information, visit www.CapeCoralOktoberfest.com.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj