Many Americans ring in the autumn season with pumpkins and apple pie. Others, however, turn to the ways of their German counterparts and celebrate with lederhosen and wienerschnitzel.
The Notre Dame German Club, along with the Student Union Board (SUB) will sponsor its annual Okdomerfest celebration tonight from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Legends.
Mariel Osetinsky, a senior German major and vice president of the German Club, has been working with the Club as well as Legends since the beginning of the year to plan Okdomerfest.
“Okdomerfest is the German Club’s biggest event of the year,” she said. “I can confidently say Okdomerfest will be one of the best events for Notre Dame students all year.”
The event, which is open and free to all Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s faculty and students with a valid school identification card, will serve a variety of authentic German cuisine including brats, sauerkraut, pretzels and potato salad, senior Katy Smith, treasurer of the German Club said. Smith, along with Observer Assistant Managing Editor and German Club President Aaron Steiner, helped organize the event.
“You don’t have to be in the German Club or even know anything about German culture to come,” Osetinsky said. “We just want everyone to have a great time and enjoy the food, music and company.”
Although the famous German event Oktoberfest is famous for its beer, Smith said, Okdomerfest will not provide beer. Students of age, however, can purchase authentic German ales from the Legends bar.
She also said the event will feature an authentic German oompa band called the Strudelmeisters as well as a T-shirt giveaway for the first 35 people who show up.
“It will be a great experience,” Kevin Godshall, German Club secretary said. “We are giving away free T-shirts.”
Smith, who spent a year studying abroad in Innsbruck, Austria, is passionate about the German culture and hopes the event reflects the culture of the area she lived in.
“I spent a year living in the Austrian Alps,” she said. “It’s such a gorgeous place with honest people … it’s not hard not to like Germany and the people. Plus, it has a rich cultural tradition so there are a lot of fun things you can do year-round.”
Smith, who is of German descent, also attended the real Oktoberfest in Munich during her time abroad.
“When we got there, everything was just booming,” she said. “It was the first weekend [of Oktoberfest] so it was especially crowded. Women in their dirndls, which are the old-fashioned women’s German clothing, and men in their lederhosen.”
Osetinsky echoed Smith’s enthusiasm about German culture.
“The best way to eat the same kind of food, beat the crowds and not spend your savings flying across the world to Germany is by coming to Notre Dame’s very own Okdomerfest,” she said.