45th Oktoberfest Celebration tradition lives on for another year

Thursday, November 8, 2018
(Photo by Megan Sabin)

The 45th Annual Remsen Oktoberfest on Saturday, October 27 was a beautiful day to celebrate the Remsen tradition.

Serving as an early start to some holiday shopping, there were some eager people hoping to find some deals at the Craft/Retail Vendor Event, which was held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the MMCRU Middle School parking lot. Over 70 booths were filled with assorted merchandise, something for everyone to enjoy. Breakfast and lunch were also available in the cafeteria.

The Remsen Heritage Museum was open from 9 a.m. to noon, featuring the Luxembourg map and other Oktoberfest memorabilia. The Luxembourg Heritage Society also sponsored a display on the Wiltgen family history at the St. Mary’s gym from 3 to 8 p.m.

The Golden Keg was tapped just a little after 1 p.m. by Mayor Joel Fisch.

Twenty children participated in the Children’s Bavarian Costume and Dance Contest, which started at 1:30 p.m. in St. Mary’s gym. Contestants competing included: Grace Galles, daughter of Bart & Kelly Galles; Jayda Decker, daughter of Kody & Samantha Decker; Zander Donovan, son of Trevor & Lydia Donovan; Lily Matgen, daughter of Michael & Kristen Matgen; Savanah Sheehan, daughter of Dan & Lori Sheehan; Gavin Krienert, son of Grant & Jamie Krienert; Jerzie Galles, daughter of Lee & Angie Galles; Madisyn Utesch, daughter of David & Alisa Utesch; Jaxon and Adelyn Schuttpelz, son and daughter of Joe & Ashley Schuttpelz; Juliann and Quinnten Mohning, daughter and son of Joe & Kristine Mohning; Allisyn Garvin, daughter of Brett & Sarah Garvin; Lily Klein, daughter of Ben & Kendra Klein; Brady, Brooklyn, Avery, and Parker Jochum, sons and daughters of Brad & Angie Jochum; Chloe Homan, daughter of Jeremy & Katrina Homan; and Laiken Bork, daughter of Shane & Taylor Bork.

Three questions were asked of each of the contestants, “I like living in Remsen because...? What is Oktoberfest? If I’m chosen to be a Prince or Princess, I will...?” Contestants were judged on their Bavarian costumes and participation in the Polka and Chicken Dance. Last year’s Princess and Prince, Mia Matgen and Mason Matgen, crowned the winners for this year; which were Laiken Bork and Gavin Krienert. All the children did a wonderful job and enjoyed dancing in the chicken dance portion of the competition. The winners will continue to represent Remsen throughout the year at various parades and events.

The polka entertainment this year was The Wendinger Band, who entertained guests from 3 - 9 p.m.

It would not be Oktoberfest without the beer garden, polka music and the much acclaimed Family Style Dinner featuring a Luxembourg and German menu along with the American menu for those less adventurous.

When asked how this year’s celebration compared with other years, Michael Matgen, chair of this year’s entertainment committee, stated, “Overall, everything went excellent. This year, we served approximately 1100 people through the line, down around 150 from last year. But there were a lot of farmers still out in the fields.”

When asked about the entertainment, Matgen added, “I heard great reviews of the band. I thought they were excellent and are planning on coming back next year!”

Matgen also expressed his thanks to the many people that helped make the Oktoberfest Celebration possible, “I would like to thank everybody that came to help set up and take down, from cutting potatoes to getting rid of the leftovers. And also everybody that came to help celebrate with us!”

The Oktoberfest Committee will have their follow-up meeting December 9 to decide how any proceeds raised from the 2018 Remsen Oktoberfest celebration will go back to the Remsen community.