Fifth Annual Oktoberfest Brings Germany to Saint Mary Mokena

The fifth annual Saint Mary Mokena Oktoberfest extravaganza is in the books, and this was the most epic year yet!

Roughly 700 people attended the weekend celebration, which included the traditional Oktoberfest evening on Saturday, September 29 and a special “Kinderfest” for children and families the following afternoon.

Saint Mary Mokena Oktoberfest Crowd
Crowds streamed into St. Mary on Saturday for some quality German food and entertainment.

Five O’clock Mass-goers were greeted by a giant tent as they arrived at the parish on Saturday. The weather was chilly, but nothing some delectable Wienerschnitzel, hearty potato pancakes and mouthwatering, beer-soaked brats couldn’t warm up.

Saint Mary Mokena Oktoberfest food serving
Volunteers serve some delicious beef stroganoff and potato pancakes to hungry festival-goers.

Did we forget to mention the beef stroganoff, spätzle and APPLE STRUDEL that was a sight for sore eyes (and hungry stomachs) of all those who attended?

Saint Mary Mokena Oktoberfest apple strudel
Apple strudel, anyone?

The music entertainment transported people straight to the beer gardens of Munich with not one, but two, German bands–The Bratwurst Brothers and Die Musikmeisters. Local dance studio Danse Integro even provided a free Polka lesson.

St. Mary Oktoberfest Die Musikmeisters
Die Musikmeisters German band provides some traditional entertainment during Oktoberfest.

Speaking of beer, there was plenty. Those wanting to embrace the German spirit for the night could enjoy a Warsteiner, but there were American options too.

Saint Mary Mokena Oktoberfest attendees
Oktoberfest attendees pose for a photo while enjoying each other’s company.

Throughout the night, everyone had the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for some great prize baskets, which included a year of free Nancy’s pizza and a set of scented candles.

Saint Mary Mokena Oktoberfest raffle
Some of the awesome prize baskets up for grabs during the annual St. Mary Oktoberfest raffle.

Following tradition, our very own Father Dindo (who had just returned from his pilgrimage to Europe) presented a beautiful picture he had painted, which was auctioned off during the night.

Saint Mary Mokena Oktoberfest painting
Father Dindo’s lovely hand-painted picture was auctioned off during Oktoberfest.

The following day, St. Mary was host to crowds of children for the first ever Kinderfest (German for Children’s Fest). The daytime event featured face painting, German crafts, and a traveling reptile and bug show.

Perhaps most popular among the little ones (and probably their parents too) was the root beer garden.

St. Mary Mokena Kinderfest
There was plenty of root beer to go around for the children at Kinderfest!

Of course, the festival wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of more than 150 volunteers who helped out–from decorators, to food servers, to drink pourers, to the brave souls who stayed to clean up afterward–everyone pitched in to make this a weekend to remember.

Saint Mary Mokena Oktoberfest Volunteers
Just a few of the many volunteers who helped make St. Mary Mokena’s fifth annual Oktoberfest possible.

 

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