Dave and Sharon Gamradt danced around the makeshift dance floor Sept. 25, wearing authentic German shirts, not missing a beat as musicians Bob Doyle on concertina and Cooper Wolff on drums performed in Melrose. A few minutes later, Autumn Nelson, Denise Rieland, Kathy Wolff and Sue Pundsack took to the floor dancing the schottische. Meanwhile, Steve Rieland and Josh Klaphake hoisted a mug filled with beer to a toast.  

St. Mary’s Catholic School staff, dressed in German attire, were hosting this Oktoberfest as promised, and it was held in Bri and Carl Worms’ home. Parents of St. Mary’s students Jay and Marie Haskamp, Jamie and Tina Terres, Justin Frieler and Sally Boecker and Josh and Trista Klaphake chipped in together to purchase the event at the 2020 virtual St. Mary’s Auction 4 Education, and they invited the Gamradts and the Rielands. 

There was German food, including homemade black forest cake and apple strudel; drinks; and games and music, which led to lots of fun. German songs, like “Schnitzelbank,” were sung, and every time a version of “Ein Prosit” was played people were invited to toast and drink.

Jay and Marie Haskamp thought St. Mary’s school staff did a wonderful job bringing pieces of Oktoberfest to Melrose for the evening.

“I think we all enjoyed learning the ‘Schnitzelbank’ song,” Marie Haskamp said. 

For them, it was a great way to support the school. 

“They (school staff) really thought of everything, from the music, games, entertainment, beer steins, even down to the German desserts,” she said. “Prost (cheers) to St. Mary’s School.”