Oktoberfest celebrated in Pembroke 0
Pembroke's Germania Club marked some 200 years of tradition Saturday, as it observed Oktoberfest festivities.
Approximately 500 people attended the event, filling the Germania Hall throughout the day, a turnout which pleased club members.
Jason Pape, who's a member of both the club executive and on the Oktoberfest committee, said the hall was full right through the day from about 2 p.m. onwards.
"We're very happy with how this went," he said. "There was a wide variety of people who attended, from children up to seniors. There were even folks from Germany attending."
Mr. Pape noted there were a lot of new faces in the crowd too, from people who were attending for the first time. He said for ages the club has been trying to let the public know Oktoberfest isn't a private party, but one where everyone is invited to attend.
"The word is getting out," based on the good turn out, Mr, Pape said. "You don't have to be German to have fun at Oktoberfest."
The original Oktoberfest developed from the celebration of the wedding of the Crown Prince of Bavaria, Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. A horse race was part of the event. The following year, the race was combined with the state agricultural fair, and in 1818 booths serving food and drink were first introduced.
By the late 20th century, "booths" had developed into large temporary beer halls, complete with interior balconies, central bandstands, and seating capacities of about 3,000-5,000 each.
The original Oktoberfest is an annual festival held in Munich, Germany, lasting two weeks and ending on the first Sunday in October.
At the city's Germania Hall, everything kicked off with the traditional tapping of the keg by Pembroke Mayor Ed Jacyno, while joining in were Laurentian Valley Township Mayor Jack Wilson, Karen McDonald, who was representing MP Cheryl Gallant, and Laura Lapinskie, who stood in for MPP John Yakabuski.
Playing throughout the afternoon was the Terry Eggert Band, who provided music for dancing in between the traditional Oktoberfest entertainment, contests, and games. In the evening, the Ottawa-based band Schteev und die Lederhosers took over to provide traditional Bavarian music.
A special treat for those attending in the afternoon were performances by the Walter Spuehler Swiss Alphorn Trio and the Schuhplatter, or traditional Bavarian folk dancers, from the Maple Leaf Almrausch Club in Ottawa.
Of course, there were the traditional refreshments, such as traditional Oktoberfest food, offered by Schmidt's Catering, including bratwurst, schnitzel, sauerkraut, potato salad, and more.
Stephen Uhler is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist
Photo credit: STEPHEN UHLER email@example.com Pembroke Mayor Ed Jacyno, right, takes part in the tapping of the keg ceremony under the watchful eye of Jennette Surnoskie, far left, who's reigning as Ms. Oktoberfest 2011, and Willie Schmidt, vice president of the Germania Club, to kick off Oktoberfest celebrations on Saturday. For more community photos, please visit our website photo gallery at www.thedailyobserver.ca.