Chester Lions celebrate Oktoberfest

, Morristown Daily RecordPublished 9:36 a.m. ET Sept. 30, 2018 | Updated 9:57 a.m. ET Sept. 30, 2018

The Chester Lions hosted their 20th annual Oktoberfest and Antique Car Show featuring German food and traditions. Leslie Ruse, Morristown Daily Record

“German, Italian, everything. Good food and good times. I’m retired now so we’re enjoying ourselves. We have a lot of fun,” said Molomo, of Washington Township. “This one is always great.”

Both Sal and his wife, Sherri, had plates filled with bratwurst and German potato salad with a Strongbow hard cider in front of them. The previous year, the Molomos brought relatives from upstate New York.

“We had a great time. We’ve come for a number of years,” Sherri Molomo said. “The food is awesome and the music is so good. We like to watch the kids dancing. It’s a lot of fun.”

The Chester Lions Club hosted their 20th annual Oktoberfest and Antique Car Show Weekend on Saturday, September 29 at Chubb Park in Chester. The event continues noon to 8 p.m., Sunday, September 30. $6 per person, free to children under 12. Rain or shine.

The traditional Oktoberfest food includes bratwurst, German potato salad, sauerkraut, smoked pork chops, apple strudel, beehive cake, funnel cake and plum cake. Three special Oktoberfest beers, Spaten Oktoberfest, Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest and Paulaner Oktoberfest, were on tap and available for only a short time.

“I come here every year. I come for the beer and the food. These festivals draw a big crowd and they’re good for the community,” said Irenj N. Krayewsky of Union County, holding a Paulaner Oktoberfest and sporting an Alpine hat. “My next move is to the pretzels. Can’t have beer without a pretzel.”

Girls dressed in traditional dirndls walked the grounds selling foot-sized pretzels. The (Die) Spitzbaum, a well-known German band, began performing time-honored tunes around 1 p.m.

All proceeds benefit the many charities supported by the Chester Lions. In the past, they’ve helped Soldiers Angels, an organization that supports American service men and women, Morristown Memorial Hospital, Lions Eye Research Foundations, and local police, fire and rescue groups.

“This is a big event for us. The Oktoberfest and Car Show is our largest annual fundraiser,” said Gerd Stabbert of Long Valley, who was co-chairing the event with Cathy Standfast.

“All the profits go to charities. We have someone from each organization come and speak to us once a month. We try to become part of the process. We help local groups, not just charities, but the EMTs, fire departments. We try to keep it local.”

Vintage cars of all types, from ‘60s Mustangs to Model T’s, sat side-by-side as visitors walked by admiringly. Their owners spent much of their time polishing their already perfect veneer and answering questions.

More than 40 Lions Club members worked the festival along with community group volunteers. Youngsters were treated to face painters and in a field rolled around in large plastic hamster balls. A climbing wall and a huge bounce house also drew large crowds of children.

A 30-year-member of the Lions, Betty Anger of Chester started her career in charity as a Lioness since the Lions were originally a men’s-only club.

“But we changed all that,” Anger said with a smile. “I’m always excited about this event because we do a tremendous amount of donations. As you can see, people always come early to grab some food because it’s so good. We even have it to go.”

Go: Chubb Park, Route 24 W., Chester; 908-879-2900, 908-879-1233; chesterlionsclub@gmail.com; chesterlionsclubnj.com

Posted in Club News, Community Support, Oktoberfest