Ein Prosit! Bavaria, north shore style
Cathy von Kintzel attended her first Oktoberfest as a volunteer, and she enjoyed it so much she’s now been involved for more than 25 years.
She now coordinates staffing for the annual event, which again this weekend will draw thousands of people to Tatamagouche.
“I was fairly new to Tatamagouche and hadn’t attended before, but I was hooked right away,” she said. “When you walk into the arena and see the decorations, hear the music and smell the food you’re transported somewhere else.
“Everything is so much fun and everyone is so positive. I knew I would always want to be involved.”
Though she isn’t German herself by heritage when von Kintzel married, she became part of a German family.
“Sven and I got involved with Oktoberfest at the same time,” she said. “We were dating then. He’s still involved too. He’s been running the bar, with others, for several years.”
She feels one of the things that makes the celebration special is that it’s a community event. Most of the people who come in to work at the event are volunteers from other non-profit organizations. Instead of paying staff, the non-profits are given money for the work.
“It’s a win-win,” said von Kintzel. “They raise money and we get awesome volunteers.
We’ve also had new members join us the last few years, and take on leadership roles, which is wonderful.”
She added that although the event is run like a business and rules must be followed, the volunteers have a lot of fun.
The first Tatamagouche Oktoberfest was held 39 years ago and drew about 85 visitors. The celebration, organized by The North Shore Bavarian Society, now brings about 3,000 party-goers to the village.
It’s the largest Oktoberfest celebration east of Kitchener-waterloo, Ont., and bands from that area perform at the event. This year’s entertainment is being provided by Twin City Alpine Echo, and Variations.
Of course, Oktoberfest also includes food, beverages and dancing. Things begin Friday evening, opening with a local band, from 6 to 11 p.m. Admission is $5 at the door.
Tickets for the afternoon’s activities sold out within 10 days. Some still remained for Saturday evening, from 7 p.m. to midnight. The cost is $20 each, and those interested can check with Ticket Atlantic, Balmoral Motel, Mingo’s Music Sales, C.G. Fulton’s Pharmacy, The Pork Shop, Jack & Ella’s Gifts & Treats, and Tatamagouche Foodland.
Oktoberfest celebration are held Sept. 28-29 at the North Shore Recreation Centre,
30 Blair Avenue, but the entire village gets into the spirit, and a decorating contest is held for merchants.
Melinda denhamm, left, and Theo denhamm, right, blended traditional Bavarian outfits with a steampunk theme at last year’s Tatamagouche Oktoberfest. They were joined by their friend Tracy Forbes, from Alberta.