47th Oktoberfest: Back in full swing after cancellation in 2020

Thursday, November 11, 2021
An overall view of St. Mary’s Gym during the Oktoberfest Celebration.
(Photo by Megan Sabin)

After being canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, the 47th Annual Remsen Oktoberfest made it's return on Saturday, October 30, 2021.

Serving as an early start to some holiday shopping, there were many 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 Gymnasiums. Over 70 booths were filled with assorted merchandise. A bake sale by the Union Vikings 4-H Club sold out of tasty treats right before noon. Breakfast and lunch were also available in the cafeteria by St. Paul Lutheran's Ladies Group.

The Remsen Heritage Museum was open from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. noon., featuring the Luxembourg map, Oktoberfest garb, and other Oktoberfest memorabilia. The Luxembourg Heritage Society also sponsored a display at the St. Mary's gym from 3 to 8 p.m.

The Remsen Heritage Museum in downtown Remsen was open from 9 a.m. to 12 Noon during Oktoberfest. Different displays of Oktoberfest memorabilia and garb along with Luxembourg heritage and maps were available to look at. See more Oktoberfest pictures on Page 8 of the November 11, 2021 edition of the Remsen Bell.
(Photo by Megan Sabin)

The “Marto Brewing” Golden Keg was tapped just a little after 1 p.m. by City Councilman Dave Sonnichsen.

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: Jayda and Breya Decker, daughters of Kody and Samantha Decker; Zander Donovan, son of Trevor and Lydia Donovan; Jerzie Galles, daughter of Lee and Angie Galles; Evan Heidesch, son of Brian and Emily Heidesch; Braya Homan, daughter of Jeremy and Katrina Homan; Quinn, Emily and Paige Homan, daughters of Craig and Jacque Homan; Veda Krienert, daughter of Grant and Jamie Krienert; London Loutsch, daughter of Jason and Stephanie Loutsch; Hazel and Nolan Matgen, daughter and son of Michael and Kristen Matgen; Juliann and Kennyon Mohning, daughter and son of Joe and Kristine Mohning; Peyton Money, daughter of Angela Jonas and Kenny Money; Breeana and Savanah Sheehan, daughters of Dan and Lori Sheehan; and Madisyn and Carson Utesch, daughter and son of David and Alisa Utesch.

Lenny Brazil served as MC for the contest. Serving as judges for this year's contest were Alex and Janell Wimmer.

Three questions were asked of each of the contestants, “I like living in Remsen because...?; What is Oktoberfest?; and 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. Children also had a chance at tasting some of the traditional German food that is served at the Bavarian Feast including bratwurst, treipen, and head cheese. Last year’s Princess and Prince, Lily Matgen and Quinnten Mohning, crowned the winners for this year; which were Jayda Decker and Zander Donovan. The winners were each awarded with $50 and all participants received a goodie bag from the Oktoberfest Committee.

Children’s Bavarian Costume & Dance Contest Chairperson Angie Galles stated, “I was thrilled to have 20 kids again this year. They were all very excited and had a lot of fun. Something to look forward to next year is bringing back polka lessons for adults so we can keep the dance floor hoppin'!”

The polka entertainment this year included the Jim Busta Band from LaCrosse, Wis., who entertained guests from 2:30 – 5:30 p.m., and back after playing at Oktoberfest in 2019 was the Jim Kucera Band, who took to the stage from 6 - 9 p.m.

It would not be Oktoberfest without the beer garden, polka music and the Bavarian Feast, which featured a Luxembourg and German menu along with the American menu for those less adventurous.

Oktoberfest Committee Bavarian Entertainment Co-Chairperson Michael Matgen stated, “Overall, I think that this year’s Oktoberfest was a success. We did have some unforeseen things that will need to be corrected for next year to make it go smoother and so our patrons won’t have to wait over an hour to eat, but we thank them for their patience. Both bands were great to watch and listen to. People still came from all over to see them and eat the food. I believe that we served right around 1,000 people through the buffet style dinner and almost all of our beverages. The Oktoberfest Committee would like to thank everybody that helped out this year, especially those in the Kitchen and Dining Room that stuck around past our serving hours to get people fed! We can’t wait until next year, October 29, 2022!”

The Oktoberfest Committee will have their follow-up meeting to decide how any proceeds raised from the 2021 Remsen Oktoberfest Celebration will go back to the Remsen community.