In an Oktoberfest that greatly resembled an all-American fall festival, five sisters stood out for their German pride.
Rose Waddell, Kay Henson, Marilyn McKelvey, Donna Keeton and Flora Wallace strolled through Oktoberfest in St. Florian sporting traditional German dress.
The great-great-granddaughters of one of St. Florian’s German settlers, and the daughters of John and Cecilia Kasmeier, the sisters didn’t don the German duds to standout. They did it to celebrate.
“This is a German community,” Henson said. “There is a lot of German history here. We are proud of that.”
The sisters walked through the car and truck show and strolled across the road to where arts and crafts vendors lined the walkway and the music resonating from the stage competed with the squeals and laughs of children on the playground and jumping high in inflatable bouncers.
Antique tractors and farm equipment filled on large grassy area while a small crowd gathered to watch corn kernels being cracked the old-fashioned way. Across the lawn, children waited in line for train rides.
The effort was spearheaded by Waddell, who thought the festival that was planned to recognize the town’s heritage needed to feel a little more, well, German.
“We are trying to start a bit of a tradition,” she said. “We’d love to get more people to join in.
“Eckl, Grossheim, Kluesner and Kasmeir, you don’t get much more German than that,” she said of some of the popular surnames in the town.
The women also have two brothers, but they weren’t an easy sell when it came to traditional dress.
“We couldn’t get them to put on the little shorts,” Wallace said.
The festival continues from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today in St. Florian city park. There is no charge for admission or parking.
Jennifer Edwards can be reached at 256-740-5754 or jennifer.edwards@TimesDaily.com.