As a nation of immigrants, we have many multi-cultural celebrations to break up the monotony, what with St. Patrick’s Day in winter and Cinco de Mayo in spring, what could be more perfect than to gather and celebrate NCS Oktoberfest in the fall! And celebrate we did!
Wearing their best lederhosen and “dirndl” (Alp-style woman’s dress) or carefully chosen mix of imagined Bavarian clothing found in the closet—sixty NCS brothers, spouses and children came ready for German food, craft beer and Oom-pah music for an evening of fun at The Shaffner Inn, Friday, October 8th, in downtown Winston Salem.
"We were thrilled to host the New Canaan Society's Oktoberfest event at The Shaffner Inn,” said Lou Baldwin who is the property’s new owner and operator. “This was our largest event since acquiring the inn. Holli Billings and the NCS brothers could not have been better to work with in planning the event. We are also proud of our inn staff for their role in making this a successful event.”
Held from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., the atmosphere was lively as guests arrived for dinner and were greeted to the festive sound of German folk music performed by “OOPS,” a polka band from Mooresville. A few bed and breakfast guests of the inn joined the party too.
As music filled the air, the aroma of German food enticed the senses. With the whole first floor of the inn reserved for the NCS party, it was easy to get lost in the many rooms and bustle. Buffets and a drink table occupied three rooms. Besides giant pretzels, large German-style beer bratwurst with fresh buns, sauerkraut, whole grain mustard topping, German potato salad, cheesy potatoes au gratin, cucumber dill salad, and apple strudel with vanilla ice cream, the main attraction was bratwurst—lots of bratwurst. Sampling all the bratwurst flavors and toppings was a must for the adventurous—chicken, white pork, regular pork and beef sausage.
Craft brewer NCS Courtney Mauzy, owner of Threshing Floor Brewing, catered brews for the event. His signature beer creations to compliment the German cuisine were enjoyed by discriminating imbibers.
“Our inaugural NCS Oktoberfest for family and friends was a big success and great time of fellowship” said NCS, “The General,” Jay Helvey. “I would say it is “Wiederholung”—time for next year!”
Making good on his promise, Kalim Andraos came dressed in full leather lederhosen regalia. Mysteriously, Brandon Billings proudly wore a matching pair, which didn’t escape the notice of Master NCS Roaster, Todd Chase. “Well, they did remind me of the Shmenge Brothers, only not quite as good looking. Watching Kalim in lederhosen singing “Take Me Home Country Roads” with the polka band was diversity at its finest!”
For Jeopardy fans, you never know when lederhosen trivia may pop up. Lederhosen are a symbol of regional pride in Bavaria and the other areas where they are worn. It is a whole style of clothing designed for hard physical work due to their being made of leather, which is more durable than fabric garment. Some men wear them when gardening, hiking, working outdoors, or attending folk festivals or beer gardens. Lederhosen was widespread among men of the Alpine and surrounding regions and have remained popular. They are associated with virility and brawn. With this in mind, many more NCS brothers may show up at next year’s Oktoberfest sporting the Bavarian knickers.
“It was great evening!” said Stan Senft. “I’m so glad I went. My last name is German; so naturally, I had to go. I love sausage, pretzels and Oktoberfest. The polka band was a lot of fun, especially the two accordions, which I wanted to play when I was young but didn’t have the chance. I got to meet new people that I hadn’t sat with before, and that’s always good!”
“We’ve already been contacted by several people who were at Oktoberfest about hosting events ranging from rehearsal dinners to Christmas parties. We are looking forward to a long relationship with NCS and to hosting future events,” Lou said.