Farmers Do Funny Things Sometimes
In our hometown, there is an Oktoberfest celebration that has been happening for 50 years. It was started by people of the town who were of German heritage and wanted to have the feeling of their homeland celebration.
Stephanie Strothmann is our farmer and is just as old as this event, she can boast that she's been to the fest every year, at least once during the three days that it happens, since it began.
Brats and kraut, sati babis (marinated pork on a stick shish kabob), apple dumplings, fish sandwiches, all means of desserts and snacks have been the highlight of the festival since it started.
Through the years, there has been a polka band that has kept up the sounds of Germany and Strothmann has danced the polka for a little over half of the years that the festival has been happening.
In 2015, the festival started a stein hoist competition amongst the men. The concept was simple, hold a one liter beer stein for as long as you can with an outstretched arm. The other arm must be down and held solidly against the body with no hands on hips or leaning.
In subsequent years following, the Oktoberfest committee held a women's competition, with the women holding a .5 liter stein, and that's where Strothmann comes into the story.
In 2019, our farmer was pulled into the competition as an alternate. No one knew who this person was and certainly didn't expect her to win.
Well, win she did with a time of 4 minutes 40 seconds.
This would start a string of victories, save for no Oktoberfest due to the pandemic in 2020, that lasted from 2019 until the present year of 2023 when she cinched her 4th victory with a solid time of 5 minutes, 14 seconds.
After the fourth victory, many folks asked what the secret was to being able to hold the stein for so long. Strothmann replied with a little grin and said "I have a lot of feed buckets and waterers to lift - it just comes naturally."