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Island Oktoberfest 2009
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Island Oktoberfest
News Release
Thursday, October 08, 2009


The popular German Dinners are back for this year’s 28th annual Island Oktoberfest.  Hurricane Ike inflicted severe damage to Galveston’s historic First Lutheran as it did many of the downtown churches in the area.  One of the more significant losses was the church’s kitchen and fellowship hall. During the 2008 "IKE’s over FEST," (the name aptly given to last year's event by Pastor Doug Guthier,) the well known German Dinners were suspended.  Without an area to prepare and store the food, it was the first time ever the event was without this popular and traditional German meal.

Festival goers may select a complete dinner, a dinner of sides only, or ala cart dishes as they choose.  The pork loins are served with a white wine gravy.  Side dishes include traditional red cabbage, sauerkraut, and hot German potatoes – all made from congregation members’ recipes handed down from generation to generation. The recipes have been in the congregation for years and are the standard by which much German food in the area is judged.  The ever popular sweet booths, apple cake and strudel stands provide plenty of tempting opportunities to enhance one’s German dinner with a great homemade dessert.  Deserts and strudels are ala carte. 

A crew of 30 cooks work in shifts prior to the event to prepare the food for the German dinners.  During the event itself, a crew of 24 rotate throughout the kitchen to assure all food is served at temperature and meets the  church’s standard for exceptional quality. Over 400 pounds of pork loin, four cases of red cabbage, 40 gallons of sauerkraut, and over 500 pounds of potatoes are the starting points for these culinary creations.  Joined by a dozen servers, the event produces over 1200 dinners.  Any food remaining is donated to a local charity.  The kitchen is chaired by Richard Howard.  The servers are chaired by Vera Danner.

Island Oktoberfest is hosted by First Lutheran Church and co-sponsored by Del Papa Distributing Company.  The two-day festival takes place on the church grounds and streets adjacent to 24th and Winnie in historic downtown Galveston.  Festival hours are 5pm-11pm, Friday, October 23rd; 11am-7pm, Saturday.   For more information, call 409.762/8477; or visit  Admission is free. Attendees are encouraged to dress in German costume.

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