By JOHN BORGOLINI
GLOVERSVILLE - A taste of Germany returned to the area Saturday as the Concordia Club hosted its Oktoberfest celebration for the first time in 17 years.
Tony's Polka Band performs during Oktoberfest on Saturday evening at the Concordia Club. (The Leader-Herald/John Borgolini)
Club members and officials were pleased to see that more than 500 people showed up throughout the noon-to-midnight event and were already talking about another Oktoberfest next September.
"We are extremely happy with the turnout that we've had," Club President John Tallon said.
Russel Dettenrieder, club entertainment chairman and auditor, shared the same appreciation Tallon had and said he had three people ask him about membership by 5 p.m.
Dettenrieder also said that the club members were very happy to see the club bring back the event, which took place annually from 1979 through 1995, with the only exception being 1982, when the club's board members built the pavilion the event has been held in since.
"I'm just flabbergasted. It's just unbelievable the amount of people who have turned out," Dettenrieder said. "It's a really good feeling."
Musical acts the Liebhagens, Tony's Polka Band and the Karg Brothers enlivened the crowd with a mix of traditional polka music and popular rock, pop and country hits.
Tony Banewicz of Tony's Polka Band was impressed with the turnout and said everybody appeared to be having a good time, and that's all that matters.
His band was the second to play and supplied the dancing crowd with the Oktoberfest favorites "The Chicken Dance" and "What a Wonderful World" and an array of more polka and country music.
"We tried to mix it up a little bit - try to give a little bit for everybody," Banewicz said.
The only question left after Sunday was where would the event go from here.
Dettenrieder said it is unlikely that next year's event would go back to the three-day format of years past, but it could get to that level again if the club's sole public event continues to draw crowds.
"I think for now, one day is fine. It's a lot of work," he said. "We'll discuss that at our meeting Thursday night. We'll see what happens and what the reaction is from the board. So far, everyone I've talked to is happy. The members are ecstatic that we brought it back."
John Borgolini can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.