Old Settlers Park Oktoberfest celebrates German culture at Paddock Lake

PADDOCK LAKE — Food, people and fun drew crowds to Old Settlers Park on Saturday for the 12th annual Old Settlers Oktoberfest.

For Dan and Lauren Anders of Waukegan, Illinois, it was a great way for them to celebrate Dan’s German heritage and share the culture with their young sons.

“We do all the ethnic festivals,” Lauren said. “It’s a fun way to connect with our heritage.”

Dan Anders grew up eating German potato salad, homemade by his grandmother. On Saturday, he said the potato salad he got at the village Oktoberfest was the best from a vendor he had ever had.

“We love everything about Wisconsin,” added Lauren Anders. “This area has the best festivals.”

A petting zoo, complete with goats and a calf, was one of many child-friendly activities at Old Settlers Oktoberfest on Saturday.



Other popular dishes include German pretzels, bratwurst, and potato pancakes. Several local restaurants were on hand to sell their wares.

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Oktoberfest team leader Sally Crnich said attendance and sales were going very well. “The beers are going down fast,” she said.

Crnich said his favorite part of Oktoberfest is seeing all the people who come to the event, as well as the music.

“We love doing this,” she said.

There are plenty of kid-friendly activities, including pony rides and petting zoo from New Beginnings Ranch, face painting from Pinot’s Palette of Pleasant Prairie, hair braiding by Salon Salon and painting pumpkins, games and other crafts organized by A Place To Grow.

Lannan Christensen, owner of A Place To Grow, said staff at the education center had volunteered at Oktoberfest for the past two years and “really enjoyed” doing it. In addition to volunteering on behalf of her organization, she also comes for food and music.

“It’s a fantastic community event,” Christensen said. “Every year it gets better and better.”

Guests were able to see pumpkins professionally painted a few tents in Dori Davis-Beck’s tent. Davis-Beck said she met Old Settlers Oktoberfest board member Mindy Cooling a few years ago and Cooling invited her to join.

“It started out as a hobby, but pumpkins are my passion,” Davis-Beck said.

Davis-Beck has carved pumpkins professionally for 25 years, she said. She also does glass etching and has featured Oktoberfest-themed glass mugs in her tent.

“I love (Oktoberfest) because fall is in the air,” she said. “It’s all about having fun.”

Other activities for all ages included the Dachshund Dash, authentic German dancing and music, a silent auction raffle and a car show.

Jamie Schenning, a volunteer in the silent Oktoberfest auction tent, said Old Settlers Oktoberfest is a “blast”.

“There’s a mix (of activities) for everyone here,” Schenning said. “It’s a fun family event.”

BIKE PARADE

Cyclists young and old take off from McAlonan Park at 248th Avenue between 72nd and 73rd Streets on Sunday for the annual Paddock Lake Bike…

BIKE PARADE

Cyclists young and old take off from McAlonan Park on Sunday for the annual Paddock Lake Bike Parade, which includes golf carts.

BIKE PARADE

The annual Paddock Lake Bike Parade also included a procession of golf carts whose riders tossed candy to eager spectators at the event held on Sunday.

BIKE PARADE

The annual Paddock Lake Bike Parade also included a procession of golf carts whose riders tossed candy to eager spectators at the event held on Sunday.

BIKE PARADE

Jacob Sanchez, 12, of Chicago, carried the American flag with him as he took part in the Paddock Lake Bike Parade held on Sunday ahead of the Indep…

BIKE PARADE

Bike parade participants and spectators gathered at the Paddock Lake Party Hall after the half-hour procession where they were treated…

BIKE PARADE

An inflatable bald eagle and Uncle Sam atop a golf cart arrive at the Paddock Lake Village Hall after the annual bike parade held in the …

BIKE PARADE

Golf cart participants in the annual Paddock Lake Bike Parade take off from the event, which ended Sunday at Village Hall, 6969 236th Ave.