German Fest at Hinckley Park

HINCKLEY – Hinckley Immanuel Lutheran Church Men’s Club hosted its first German Fest at Pioneer Park on Saturday.

“It’s a German-Lutheran congregation, and we have some members who are very proud of their German families,” said Lee Madsen, president of the club.

Under sunny skies, attendees played games and ate bratwurst, pretzels, sauerkraut, German potato salad and other traditional German food. Attendees 21 and older could drink wine or choose from three different beers, including an Oktoberfest variety.

Hugo Hoerdeman, a new resident of Big Rock, preferred to drink beer from his own decorative stein to drinking from a plastic cup.

“I have a couple of steins with animal themes,” he said. “I got this one from a German fest in Wisconsin.”

Throughout the afternoon and evening, several competitions kept the crowd entertained. Men’s club members hosted stein races about once an hour, during which contestants paired up to carry steins of water from one table to another before emptying the steins into five-gallon bottles. The team that filled the bottle first won the competition.

Erin and Brock Edwards of Wheaton, who stopped at German Fest by chance, won a German cuckoo clock on the first stein race of the day.

“We were camping at Shabbona and we were driving by and saw it and thought, ‘Who doesn’t like a brat and a beer?’” Erin Edwards said.

The German music band Die Perlen played traditional music from 5 to 10 p.m.