Sterling Heights - The doors opened at 6 pm, the grapes
hanging in their meshed cocoons; teasing, enticing all on-lookers and
passers-by. The Jail stood strong in the corner. Bailiff waiting, guarding
what would become a revolving door of children and grown-ups - all who have
tried and failed to hastily, or cleverly steal the green and purple
treasures. The bar was stocked and the bartenders seasoned or pickled,
perhaps both. The kitchen window opened to serve sausage or a hot dog to
those that missed dinner before attending. And cake and coffee was also
But, before the stealing could begin, the attending dignitaries had to be
announced, the workers recognized, the attendees thanked, and the rules had
to be read. You can only steal when the band was playing, you must try to be
sly when stealing the grapes. This is not a smash and grab, strong-arm
robbery. But a well thought out plan as when to snatch your bundle without
the watchful eyes of the Kulturgruppe seeing you. Once caught, walk in an
orderly fashion to the jail and wait until some kind soul pays a $1 to bail
you out. And in return for them bailing you out, you would dance with them.
At 8 pm Enzian’s music filled the air and the dance floor filled up with
children and adults, alike. The grapes dangled from various heights and each
and every hungry dancer was on the prowl; dancing, stalking, trying to find
their package and the right moment. Of course, others were more hungry then
slick and just went for the gusto at the first bag that hung over their
head. The jail, like the dance floor, began to fill up.
At the first band break the crowd of approx 150 people were entertained by
the little and middle dancegroup. Enzian again filled the hall with the
sounds that brought the dancers to the dance floor. At this time the smell
of pretzels filled the air as some of the young ladies from the Kulturgruppe
walked around to entice those that were not fond of grapes, or thievery, and
preferred a salty delight and had no qualms about paying for their desires.
At the second band break the Youthgroup, Schuhplattler Group, and the
Kulturgruppe all had a wunderbar performance as was expressed by the
applause from the crowd. At this point all current and former youthgroup
dancers were summoned to the dance floor to perform a few favorites. For
Sauerlander, I believe, we were 6 couples deep, in four directions. The
music played, the feet began to bounce, and...well it is something you have
to see to enjoy. The next dance-a-long was Marklaender. Partners gathered on
the floor and once again hopped around as if they had never been away.
By this time all the grapes had been stolen, the jail had been emptied, and
Enzian played as people danced, while the Kulturgruppe sold raffle tickets
for the next band break. The raffle was held at the last band break -
bottles of wine to baskets of Halloween candy - were raffled off as the
crowd cheered with every winner. The evening wound down as the band played
everyone out the door.
This is going to be the last year (for a while) that the Kulturgruppe will
be hosting the Weinlesefest. Why, you may ask? For one, the date of the
event is mixed in between two other important events at Carpathia and for
two, it is time for something new. Such ideas have been mentioned as 50’s
60’s Big Band Night or a Schlachtfest. We are also looking into doing
something in the first half of the year rather than the second half.
Once again, thank you to all those that were able to attend! I hope you had
fun, I know I did!