Oktoberfest, the Slovak way!

Dozinky2011_200Although I’ve been helping the Canadian Slovak League’s Special Events and Youth Activities Committee plan an Oktoberfest dinner and dance party every October, this is the first one I attended. My conclusion is that the annual Oktoberfest and Mardi Gras parties are always a good time. This year’s Oktoberfest was on October 1st in the big hall of the St. Anthony Soccer Club. The hall looked great as always, with tables decorated with red napkins, delicious chocolates and a lovely scarecrow decoration that was taken home as a keepsake by a lucky few. This year the committee forgot to bring the Slovak flag to hang on the wall, but the Slovak music and food made up for the cultural atmosphere by far. We even sang happy birthday to a few people, which made be realize what a supportive community we are here in Ottawa. Other cultures attended the party as well, including Italian and Czech, as well as some who were only English speaking from Saskatchewan!

About 200 people attended, even more than at the last Mardi Gras party. I’m starting to get worried that these parties will get more and more popular and I won’t have as much room to boogie on the dance floor! It got packed even at half the capacity!

Our band was Miro and Dusan from Toronto. They played a lot of Slovak music as well as a few English. During their breaks, we played Andrej’s dance mixes, which were a hit too. A lot more of the older crowd danced to Mambo #5 and a lot less to Eminem, hehe. I knew the night was going well when I already counted a few ladies slipping on the dance floor from all the fancy moves they were making with their partners.

The food was delicious. We had schnitzels, potato dumplings (reminded me of halusky!), three types of European sausages, sauerkraut, baked potatoes, salads and tasty apple strudel. Slovak beer and Slivovica were also available along with wine and other beverages. And for the first time the committee provided late night snacks: chips, pretzels and nuts. Although I found the staff to be very kind to provide some of us hungry folk with bread and butter late in the evening.

There were plenty of raffle prizes thanks to all of our sponsors: liquor, crystal, a painting, a hockey stick, etc. I didn’t win anything! What can you do, right?

By the end of the night, the hall was getting empty. The few that were left were still dancing away to the last few songs the band was going to play. When they finished, Andrej got on stage and sang his heart out to a Slovak song. The band immediately added some background music and made his performance complete.

A special thank you goes to the Committee for all their time and effort. And thank you to everyone who joined us at the party, from all sorts of backgrounds. Mark your calendars for Friday, February 17th, 2011 for our 3rd annual Mardi Gras party. If you would like to be included on our mailing list, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you’re on Facebook, check us out under the group name “The Ottawa Slovak Community”.


Barbora Dej
Chair, Special Events and Youth Activities Committee

Photos: Tibor Dej


The Canadian Slovak
259 Traders Blvd. East,
Unit 6
Mississauga Ontario
L4Z 2E5 Canada