Helga Gimmler of Warilla, Egon Schlomm of Kanahooka and Barbara Fenyn of Port Kembla get into the spirit of Oktoberfest at the German club in Kembla Grange. Picture: KEN ROBERTSONThe tapping of the first Oktoberfest keg at the Wollongong German Club at Kembla Grange on Friday will kick off a rollicking extravaganza of traditional German food, beer and entertainment.The club will be the hub for three days of festivities in the Illawarra for thousands of revellers of all ages.Traditional costumes and an oompah band will create an authentic atmosphere expected to live up to the Oktoberfest motto of “good entertainment and geniality”.German-born club member Helga Gimmler said the event would bring a piece of her homeland to Australia. “There will be plenty of beer, plenty of food. And dancing for young and old,” she said. Illawarra residents have embraced Oktoberfest celebrations in the past, and this year’s event is expected to draw up to 7000 people. Beer lovers will have the choice of 12 German and Austrian brews, as well as a variety of schnapps.Traditional German food from suppliers in the Illawarra, including sauerkraut and pork knuckle, will be served to soak up the liquor.Club director Olga Isaksson said the festivities would rival celebrations in Munich, the Oktoberfest capital of the world. “We’ll match them – or at least we’ll try to match them,” she said.The festival will be launched on Friday at 5pm at the club and will run on Saturday and Sunday from 10am till late.
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