CULLMAN, Ala— There were lederhosen and dirndls as far as the eye could see through the banquet room of the All Steak Restaurant Thursday night, as those who were lucky enough to clinch a ticket to the Burgermeister Ball settled in. The Oktoberfest kick-off event recognized past and current Burgermeisters while paying homage to Cullman’s German roots with an evening of Germanic cuisine, music and games.
Cullman Economic Development Agency Director Dale Greer, Oktoberfest 2023 Burgermeister, said that while being an ambassador for the city of Cullman certainly wasn’t new to him, the title of Burgermeister did give him one surprising stipulation: historic German dress.
“I have been an ambassador on behalf of Cullman for my entire career, but this is the first time I’ve had to do it in lederhosen!” laughed Greer, who shared many have gotten a chuckle and snapped a photo of his garb throughout town.
Dinner began with the All Steak team delivering a three-course German meal fit for a Burgermeister: starting with a taste of smoked salmon lox with dill creme fraiche, a dish piled high with an eye of round topped with red cabbage chutney and finishing with a crisp and delicious apfelstrudel with hints of rum and crème anglaise.
After dishes were cleared and glasses of German Riesling and pinot refreshed, the games were on. A competitive German spelling bee and trivia provided plenty of laughs as some of Cullman’s best struggled to spell words like flughafen (airport) and prost (cheers!).
Hosts for the evening, Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce board and staff, said they felt honored to be able to bring the Burgermeister Ball back with the help of Paul Schaffer of Mitch Smith Chevrolet.
“We are excited to make this an annual event for Cullman as we partner with our members to help keep our German heritage alive,” said Chamber President Joey Orr. “I know the Cullman city parks and recreation department has so many fun, family events planned this year and we are excited to watch this festival grow.”
Said Schaffer, toasting to the evening, “We’re just glad to be the sponsor, and so glad it’s started back. It’s a big heritage of Cullman and the turnout has been so good!”
For more information about Cullman’s Oktoberfest, coming Sept. 28-30, visit www.cullmanoktoberfestival.com.
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