Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fastnacht: “German Mardi Gras”

Actually, it’s just as correct to say that Mardi Gras is the French version of Fastnacht!

If you’re in Central Missouri and want to try something new tonight, come to the huge, annual Fastnacht celebration sponsored by the Columbia United Church of Christ!

It starts at 5:30 this evening and is held at Columbia’s Knights of Columbus hall (2525 N. Stadium Rd.—that’s the part of Stadium that’s north of I-70, okay?)—yah, yah, yah, yah: You know you want to go!

Here’s why:

1) The “Trinity” (we’ve talked about this before): brats, kraut, and potato salad (German potato salad—is there any other kind?)

2) “Fastnachts.” These are sweet little fried pastries (similar to my family’s mützen), traditionally served at Fastnacht. (Get it? They’re fried: oil, grease, “fat”—as in “Fat Tuesday”). Yum-yum!

3) Music and dancing! This year, the Loehnig Band from Hermann, which has performed for the UCC Fastnacht celebration each year for 25 years—even when the weather’s been miserable!—is finally taking a vacation for Fastnacht . . . in New Orleans! So this year, the entertainment is from Columbia’s own 6-piece German band, “Der Musicmeisters.” (Um, shouldn’t that be spelled Musikmeisters?) (Anyway . . .)

German Fastnacht has deep roots, as deep as French Mardi Gras, and if you’re of German descent, or if you’re just looking for something different to do this evening, you absolutely need to check out this scene.

Yes, it’s sponsored by a local church as an outreach activity and fund-raiser, but no, you won’t be subjected to any sermons or preachin’ tonight. Just good food, music, fun, and friendly fellowship.

Alcohol will not be served, so everyone who goes can feel comfortable. (Naturally, if you want to continue your party, you can always head downtown afterwards for more abandoned types of revelry!)

Cost for tickets at the door is $10 for adults, $5 for kids 6–12.

For more information, look at the Web site of the Columbia UCC.

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