German cultural festival warms up winter

Photo by Dean Humphrey–– Sherrill and Wayne Lizer of Fruita dance at Palisade Brewery on Sunday during the annual Fasching celebration of the German-American Club of Western Colorado.

Nothing was going to stop the German-American Club of Western Colorado from throwing a party.

Instead of canceling their annual Fasching celebration, which is a German form of Mardi Gras, because of cold temperatures and snow Sunday, club members moved the outdoor event inside Palisade Brewery.

“Our purpose is to promote the German culture,” said Jim Witt, club president.

And Fasching is a part of the German culture, said Munich native Elisabeth Wendt. She goes by “Lisa,” and she was dressed as a vampire.

Costumes are typically a part of Fasching in Germany, she added. Although the way Germans celebrate Fasching varies across Germany, the commonality among all Fasching celebrations is the desire to create a party atmosphere synonymous with New Orleans’ Mardi Gras or Rio de Janeiro’s Carnaval.

In Palisade, the German-American Club likes to have German music, German beer and German food. All three were accomplished Sunday.

The German-American Club of Western Colorado is always looking for new members, Witt said. The club, which was founded in the late 1970s, promotes the culture and heritage of Germany by sponsoring Grand Junction’s Oktoberfest, Fasching and a May 1 event called “Maitanz,” which recognizes European Labor Day.

Members of the club include people such as Witt, who is of German descent, and Wendt, who was born in Germany and moved to the United States in her 20s.

The group meets for a Stammtisch, a social get-together, at 5 p.m. the last Tuesday of every month at Rockslide Brew Pub, 401 Main St., Grand Junction.

For information, contact Witt at 242-2657.


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