Lilburn church hosts Oktoberfest

Have a taste for a real Oktoberfest, but not the time (or money) to travel? Look no further than Trinity Lutheran Church on Killian Hill Road in Lilburn on Saturday.

"Everybody talks about the Oktoberfest in Helen, but why go way up there in all the traffic when you can experience a real Oktoberfest at our church?" asked Evelyn Schneider, a member of the church.

This will be Trinity Lutheran's fourth Oktoberfest and it promises to be bigger and better than ever. "We had 1,100 visitors last year and this year we expect at least 1,300," said Oktoberfest chairman Jack Crouse.

Authentic German cuisine, provided by Schumacher's of Norcross, will be served at the event. Visitors can "expect the wurst," meaning bratwurst, knockwurst and weisswurst. The menu also includes sauerkraut, German potato salad, red cabbage, pretzels and strudel.

And for those who prefer American fare, items include hamburgers, hotdogs, chips and cookies and even Charles Fisher's good old Southern boiled peanuts will be available.

But the best part of the menu is the authentic German beer.

"We will serve Spaten Oktoberfest, Franziskaner Hefeweiss and Dinkel Acker Dark along with an assortment of authentic German wines including Karl Erbes Riesling Kabinett," said Jim Elsenbeck.

Live entertainment will include bluegrass music, the Atlanta Polka Band and the Euro-Volk dancers, who will perform ethnic polkas and waltzes. And if you happen to run into Trinity Lutheran member Neal Rhodes, he'll be glad to teach you some quick steps so you can dance along.

The craft fair will feature items such as Marion Wingfield's blown glass, Edward Pizzati's wooden toys, Edna Fisher's aprons and birdhouses and Chris McLaughlin's pencil rendering and notecards. Visitors can pose for pictures next to a life size figure of Lutheran Church namesake Martin Luther himself.

Children's games will include a lollipop grab, a balloon blast, a duck pond and a pink pig race. A dog fashion show will be put on by As Groomed as it Gets. Allison Kuester, a high school student taking German, and other students will walk among the crowd speaking German.

The event will be held from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday. Admission to Oktoberfest is $3. A can of food will buy two tickets for any children's game.

"This is not a fundraiser," Crouse said. "This is a mission for witnessing to the community. However, any money we make on the Oktoberfest will go to the Lilburn Co-op to help those in need."

I think Martin Luther would drink to that!

Call 770-972-4418 or visit www.mnopltd.com/tlc/okt/ for more information on Oktoberfest.

Susan Larson is a Lilburn resident. E-mail her at susanlarson4@yahoo.com.