Maple Grove readies tons of food and fun for GermanFest

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Vernon/Rockville - posted Fri., Oct. 18, 2013
Oktoberfest beers will be featured at the Maple Grove German Fest on Oct. 26. File photos by Steve Smith.
Oktoberfest beers will be featured at the Maple Grove German Fest on Oct. 26. File photos by Steve Smith.

Maple Grove volunteers are gearing up for this year's GermanFest, set for Oct. 26. Paul Denisky, the head chef for the event, said the group is expecting a large crowd for the 17th annual event, and that most people come for the food.

Denisky said the original event was created to drum up interest in the club, which had seen participation wane, and the event has grown ever since. “I think the first year, I ordered three dozen sausages,” Denisky said. “Now, I'm ordering 60 dozen sausages.”

Food will consist of authentic, homemade traditional German recipes, prepared by about a half dozen cooks, but coming from a slew of ancestors. “We're using traditional recipes that we've accumulated over the years,” Denisky said, adding that the kitchen staff has to do a bit of exponential math. One recipe for German potato salad originally called for two or three potatoes. “Now, I'm making more than 100 pounds of it,” he said.

Fritz's Oktoberfest Band will be providing the music from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. There will also be raffles and prizes. “The band and the camaraderie and the social atmosphere itself kind of make the event,” Denisky said.

Officially, the club is named Gesang Und Declamation Club, and was established in 1889 as a German singing club. In the 1970s, the club transitioned to being a casual, social sportsmen's club. Denisky said the group commonly goes by the Maple Grove Club name, “because it's easier.”

Proceeds from the GermanFest will go to the upkeep of the Maple Grove Clubhouse, which was originally built in 1936, but has had many renovations by volunteers over the years. “We've done some good things to it, but it takes some upkeep,” Denisky said, adding that years ago, the clubhouse was “the place” for music and social events in Rockville.

The open-to-the-public event begins at noon, with the food being served at 2 p.m. Buffet dinners are $15 per plate. One-pint draft beers, including Spaten Oktoberfest and Lagers beers, are $2.

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