Oktoberfest preps are in full swing at St. John

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Oktoberfest at St. John Lutheran Church is a fall tradition in the Pine Belt, and church members were hard at work on Monday preparing all the food needed to have a great celebration on Saturday.

Oktoberfest features specialties like homemade hot German potato salad, and specially prepared sauerkraut. Typically, the church sells 1,400 plates of food during the day-long celebration.

To satisfy those hungry folks, volunteers make 66 gallons of sauerkraut and use 700 pounds of potatoes for the salad. Additionally, they fry 150 pounds of bacon to flavor the potato salad and sauerkraut.

On top of those goodies, members of St. John also bake all kinds of authentic German sweets like Black Forest Cake and Apple Strudel. Warner Boortz is the longtime co-chair of Oktoberfest.

Boortz said, "The food is bratwurst, it's bought in from Milwaukee from Usinger's, which is a German company that makes it. The potato salad is homemade here. The sauerkraut, we buy the raw sauerkraut, we wash it very thoroughly and then put our own spices in it."

Oktoberfest is this Saturday, October first, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the St. John Fellowship Hall. An Oom-pah band will also be performing during the celebration.

Proceeds from Oktoberfest benefit the church's overseas missions and charitable causes.

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