MARCO ISLAND — The Marco Island Yacht Club took an evening cruise to Bavaria, in spirit, on Friday evening, celebrating Oktoberfest in their clubhouse at the foot of the Jolley Bridge. The sunset created a lightshow outside the terrace where members gathered before dinner, looking out over the pleasure craft parked in the yacht basin.
Upstairs, the 17-member Hafenkapelle German band from Cape Coral played, with plenty of oompah, while the members enjoyed dinner and then dancing. Beer flowed copiously, along with all the other drinks of choice, and some of the club members, and all of the band, sported their lederhosen and dirndls.
MIYC membership director Lisa Luft, who despite her Germanic last name professed herself an Irish lass, even during the Bavarian celebration, nevertheless dressed for the occasion, appearing to be the fraülein who stepped off the St. Pauli Girl bottle. Scotsman John Cummings, sitting and sipping with Gerri Prescott down on the terrace before heading upstairs for dinner, summed up his stance in just a few words, delivered in a rich Scottish brogue: “I’ll come a long way for a drink.”
As he has for six years running, Capt. Rudi Landwaard, the MIYC’s chief financial officer, coordinated the affair. Not only did he show up in leather shorts and suspenders, plus an embroidered shirt and green hat, he also drank his beer from an authentic stein that must have held a liter of everyone’s favorite Oktoberfest beverage.
“My mother was German, my father was Dutch – and fought in the Resistance – but I’m a full-blooded American,” said Landwaard. He and fellow leatherman Frank Renkel were going to be part of the entertainment, said Landwaard, “but not until we’ve had a few more beers.”
The two were slated to offer vocals on “In Munchen Steht Ein Hofbrau Haus,” (in Munich there is a beer joint, loosely translated), and the classic “Edelweiss.”
In the meantime, Hafenkapelle did the honors, playing traditional favorites, heavy on the polka. Selections included The Herr Schmerz Polka, Schwarzwald Marie, and Jetzt Ist Zeit Fur Die Polka, along with Rambling Rose.
As a special Bavarian touch, the band played the “Alpenhorn Polka,” bringing out the enormous 10-foot long wind instruments. This month is naturally a very busy one for a traditional German brass band. Over the next two weekends, they will host an enormous Oktoberfest celebration at their home, the German-American Social Club in Cape Coral. The size of the ensemble varies from 15 to 20 members, said band director Jim Walker, “depending on the distance they have to travel.”
After operating on a minimal summer schedule, MIYC is gearing up for the winter months as northern members begin to return. Club publicity chairman Laverne Davy said that Oktoberfest serves as “kind of a springboard to the new season.” Days and hours of operation are still changing; for the most up-to-date information, call the Marco Island Yacht Club at (239) 394-0199.