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Students celebrate German culture at Okdomerfest

Sarah Mervosh | Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Break out your lederhosen and dirndl.

Notre Dame’s annual Okdomerfest, complete with free food and live German music will be held tonight at Legends from 7 p.m. to 10.

Okdomerfest, which is hosted by the German Club and SUB, is open to any Notre Dame, SMC or Holy Cross student with a valid student ID, Charlie Vogelheim, senior German Club secretary, said.

Members of the Club are excited about their take on this German cultural event.

“We have all sorts of Latin and Asian cultural events [on campus] and a lot of the European events get forgotten about,” said senior and German club president Emily Doll.

Notre Dame’s event is hoping to be as authentic as possible.

“Obviously we try and have it mimic Oktoberfest as much as we can given the limits on the kind of food we have available and being a University sponsored club we aren’t allowed to spend any money on beer,” said senior and German club treasurer C.J. Ramsey.

While they studied abroad in Innsbruck, Austria both Ramsey and Vogelheim had the opportunity to attend the real Oktoberfest, which his held in Munich, Germany every late September.

“Oktoberfest in Germany is like a state fair here except it is just centered around beer, pretty much,” said Ramsey.

“Everyone is just so happy when they’re there. It is like a carnival almost. They have these huge rides. Every brewery in Munich has its own tent where they serve their traditional beer,” said Vogelheim.

At Okdomerfest, German beer will be on tap to people who are of age, Vogelheim said.

“It’s not like a big drinking festival we’re having at Legends. Its more of a celebration of German culture,” he said.

This celebration includes eating German food, like sauerkraut, bratwurst and pretzels. This will mimic the food served at Oktoberfest in Germany, which Ramsey said is “pretty much anything that is greasy or bread that goes well with beer.”

They will not be serving any of the exotic items that Vogelheim witnessed, such as pork knuckles or ox tails.

Doll said that she enjoys seeing people dress in typical German attire at Okdomerfest.

“I think that my favorite part is seeing the more enthusiastic German club members show up in lederhosen and sometimes dance the polka and jut generally act a little foolish, but have a lot of German spirit,” said Doll.

Vogelheim is one of those “more enthusiastic” members, and plans to wear his lederhosen.

Doll said that while this year’s Okdomerfest is a celebration of the same traditions as in previous years, more food will be available and she hopes to have more people attend.