The band was playing polka.

The beer was flowing.

And, the brats, and other famous foods, delighted the palettes of many attendees of the Detroit Lakes Shrine Color Guard Oktoberfest fundraiser on Saturday night.

The local Shriners set up an intimate tent on Oct. 2, filled with food and the smiling faces of most of the event-goers. The fundraising event had a goal of raising $3,000 to support Shriners Children's Hospitals, but, Steve Larson, an event organizer, said he expected to surpass their goal this year, based on the high turnout.

"I'm really happy that we've got this many people that have shown up," said Larson. "We weren't sure, after COVID, what we'd be dealing with."

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live
Newsletter signup for email alerts

Kay Meszaros, left and Craig Fontaine smile after winning best dressed traditional costume contest during the Detroit Lakes Shrine Color Guard fundraising event on Oct. 2, 2021. (Jim Brogren / Detroit Lakes Tribune)
Kay Meszaros, left and Craig Fontaine smile after winning best dressed traditional costume contest during the Detroit Lakes Shrine Color Guard fundraising event on Oct. 2, 2021. (Jim Brogren / Detroit Lakes Tribune)

Larson said the Shriners have hosted the same event in previous years and the temperatures have been in the 40s, which can make drawing a crowd challenging.

"We're tickled pink that we've got this many people here, having a great time enjoying the El Zagal band," he said. "The mission here tonight is to raise money for Shriners' Children's (hospitals), so that's what we're about."

Larson said the local Shrine Color Guard chapter hosts a membership of about 90 members, but only about half would be considered active members. He also encouraged anyone who wants to become a Shriner to contact him at 218-841-8533 or at slarson@arvig.net.

Event-goers enjoy socializing and beer during the Detroit Lakes Shrine Color Guard Oktoberfest fundraising event on Oct. 2, 2021. (Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune)
Event-goers enjoy socializing and beer during the Detroit Lakes Shrine Color Guard Oktoberfest fundraising event on Oct. 2, 2021. (Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune)

The music was provided by the El Zagal Shrine Big Band of Fargo, who offered hours of musical entertainment for their guests.

"These people donate their time and they come and play for different events and I just love them," Larson said. "They do an awesome job every year."

Barb Richards, a local Shriner member, prepared her famous German potato dish, which was salty, creamy and sweet all at the same time. When asked what her secret recipe was, Richards said, "Potatoes and bacon, and onion, and there's vinegar and brown sugar, and I can't remember the rest."

She added that it was originally her mom's recipe.

Popular Oktoberfest games, like Hammerschlagen, were also available to the attendees to play for various prizes.

Jodi Ellingson, of Detroit Lakes, plays Hammerschlagen during the Detroit Lakes Shrine Color Guard fundraising event on Oct. 2, 2021. (Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune)
Jodi Ellingson, of Detroit Lakes, plays Hammerschlagen during the Detroit Lakes Shrine Color Guard fundraising event on Oct. 2, 2021. (Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune)

A separate $20 raffle was also being held for a chance to win a 2020 Bobcat UVXL34 gas utility vehicle, among other cash prizes, with the additional proceeds also being donated to the children's hospital.