LANSING, Ill. (October 25, 2023) – The traditional German festival Oktoberfest was celebrated for the first time at Kasey’s Banquet Hall on Friday, October 20 from 6 – 10 p.m.
Oktoberfest is often associated with beer, but the annual festival primarily celebrates Bavarian culture and history.
The indoor festival included traditional German music, food, beer, and dancing. A ticket was required to attend the event and it included an all-you-can-eat German food buffet, a four-hour open bar, and live entertainment.
Attendees were also able to participate in a raffle where they had the chance to win a German-inspired gift basket.
“We do a lot of different fun events, and we [decided to] do an Oktoberfest,” said Mike Myers, manager at Kasey’s Banquet Hall.
Attendees listened to The Deustch Meisters, an authentic German band, while eating traditional food such as German-style fried chicken, bratwurst, and vorwiegend kochende potatoes, also known as potato salad.
It is customary for people to wear traditional Bavarian clothing, dirndls, and lederhosen to the event.
Barbara Knight, who has been a Lansing resident for over 40 years, attended the festival because she “enjoys German music and food.”
“I think that more people need to know that [Lansing] does these [events] and they can enjoy themselves. They are all welcome,” Knight said.
Nancy Reed has been a Lansing resident for over 50 years and is a frequent patron of Kasey’s. “We come here all the time so we [decided] to come [to the event],” Reed said. “The music is good.”
Oktoberfest began over 200 years ago in Munich, Germany as a celebration of Bavaria’s Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on October 12, 1810.
The festival is celebrated all around the world, but the main event is in Munich, where it originated.
This year, Oktoberfest runs from September 16 to October 3. The festival normally takes place for 16 days with the last day being the first Sunday in October. However, if the 16th day falls before October 3, it may last an additional day or two.
The preparations for bringing the festival to Kasey’s was easy, organizers said.
“I made a few phone calls, found a great German band, and talked with our caterers,” Myers said. “It all [went well] and here we are.”
The buffet was prepared by Kasey’s in-house catering company, The Cookout. The company specializes in making foods from a variety of cultures including German, Asian, and Creole food.
“At The Cookout, we make so many different genres of food because our [specialty] is home-style favorites,” said LaTasha Sterahan-Garcia, Chef and Co-Owner at The Cookout.
“We did some research and asked people what they were expecting in an Oktoberfest, then leaned into [that] and made sure we knew how to [prepare],” she continued.
A new tradition in Lansing
Myers said the event turned out much better than he had expected, with people purchasing tickets up until the day of the event.
“This is our first year doing an Oktoberfest and it’s going to become a tradition because of the great response — the smiles all over the place, along with the German food and German beer,” Myers said.
Kasey’s Banquet Hall is located at 17800 Lorenz Ave in Lansing.
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