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Preparations underway for 33rd annual Oktoberfest

September 24, 2018

It’s time to don your German lederhosen and celebrate. For more than three decades, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Liberty has been the home for a Bavarian festival that rivals most other festivals in the county and church organizers are busy finalizing plans for this year’s event.

Set for Sunday, Oct. 7 at 6 p.m., the festival is free and open to the public.

“The good news is you don’t have to fly to Munich [Germany] or even drive miles to New Braunfels,” said Jim Sterling, one of the organizers. “We have it all right here.”

Since 1985, the church has been transformed inside and out for the fall festival and has offered a Bavarian experience.

The food and drinks are German.

“You’ll find wurst, German sausage. This can be just about any kind of variety,” he said.

Some of the traditional dishes include bratwurst (fried beef and pork sausage), bockwurst (a smoked Vienna-type sausage), weisswurst (small, delicately flavoured white sausages) and knockwurst (highly seasoned sausage).

Other favorites are roulade a rolled beef stuffed with bacon, onions, and gherkin pickles and fried in a mushroom sauce. Sauerbraten is another tasty dish. The beef roast is marinated in red wine sauce and served with potato dumplings.

“My favorite is rotkohl which is red cabbage with apples and onions,” Sterling said.

Hasenpfeffer is a rabbit stew cooked in a Dutch oven and of course, there will be wiener schnitzel, breaded pork cutlets.

Festival goers may also find apfelstrudel, an apple dessert like no other!

The festival wouldn’t be complete without music and dancing. The Hungry Five Band (they play for food) includes Tom Guidry, Gus Figeac, Kendall Pitre, Kevin Heckaman and Rick Brady accompanied by Sandra Sterling on the keys.

They’ll be playing traditional German oompah band music and maybe a few favorites like “Danke schon” and the Chicken Dance led by Herr Horst Kackelmeier. Sterling also said he expected a cameo appearance by the incomparable Greta Grossknocker from Bavaria.

Oktoberfest began in Munich and has developed into one of the biggest folk fairs in Europe. It started as a horse race to celebrate the marriage of King Ludwig of Bavaria to Therese von Saxe-Hildburghausen. It later became a fall fair and grew larger over the years into a 16-day affair.

The church is located next to Prosperity Bank, diagonally across from the Liberty County Courthouse at 2401 Trinity St.

Festival-goers are encouraged to bring their favorite German dish if they’d like. The church is also requesting a non-perishable food can or bag of food as a donation to the local food bank as you’re able.

Have a German stein? Bring it and enjoy the German liquid.

Bring your friends and enjoy this fun fall festival. For details, please call Herr Horst Kacklemeier at 936-336-3716.

Ein prosit! (Cheers!)

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