Oktoberfest Potluck Celebrates Local History: The Great Falls Historical Society’s Oktoberfest Potluck Featured the Autumn Harvest

Wednesday, October 21, 2015 3:45 PM | Katie Whitman (Administrator)

Oktoberfest Potluck Celebrates Local History

The Great Falls Historical Society’s Oktoberfest pot- luck featured the autumn har vest.

By Kathleen Murphy

President/Great Falls Historical Society

The historic Great Falls Grange was abuzz with Oktoberfest Potluck guests bearing wonder ful warm dishes that filled 36 linear feet of

table space. The menu included Virginia honey baked ham, a classic German pork and sausage dish, made every year by the Follins, German meatballs by Maggie Mc Neil — lots of local regional dishes — and this year our “local” dishes embraced a Tepsi Lahana (cabbage cassorole), an Iraqi dish prepared by Janet Al Hussaini, and a Tunisia tajine prepared by Zokia Rabana. As the original settlers to Great Falls came from different countries, bringing the cui- sine local to their place of birth, the march of new- comers continues, and our community and our Soci- ety are enriched by the new traditions being shared among us. The Great Falls Historical Society welomes all residents of our community to join in sharing their traditions, becoming part of our shared “local” community.

Betty Swartz was the Hospitality Chair who orchestrated this wonderful event. She is not one to take the credit, however. She is continually impressed with how people arrive early and pitch in to help to deliver this event in such a gracious and lovely manner. Sue Kawmy served as co-chair and worked closely with Betty to learn the cus- toms and traditions so that they may be carried forth into the future.

The Follin family has a multi-generational heritage here in Great Falls. Calvin and his wife Jennifer have a long tradition of bring- ing a centerpiece German meat dish to the Oktoberfest. This year, the Oktoberfest fell on their 25th wedding anniversary and Betty very graciously recognized the occa- sion with a lovely bouquet of flowers.

Homer Johns, the longest serving active member of the Great Falls Volunteer Fire Department, shared the history of the de- partment as it experienced an early fire in their own station, moved to several loca- tions, etc. He described how fires are fought in Great Falls, where we are all on septic and the water supply coming by well may not be sufficient to put out a fire — requir- ing a large number of trucks carrying wa- ter. He also emphasized the importance of

Kathleen Murphy gives Homer Johns a Great Falls Historical Society’s t-shirt.

having a visible house number so that emer- gency response teams can find you. Carolyn Miller prepared a display board showing the various fire department locations.

The Split String Band played bluegrass and Americana music.

The Great Falls Historical Society was organized in 1977 to promote community spirit by bringing the past into the present. To learn more about our Society, please visit www.gfhs.org.

Our next event is “The Legacy of Faith: Great Falls Churches, 1850s to 1940s,” to be presented on Nov. 4 at the Great Falls Library Meeting Room at 7 p.m. Admission is free and everyone is invited to attend. 

Kathleen Murphy, President, Great Falls Historical Society, Great Falls Connection, October 21-27, 2015, page 6 & 7


The Great Falls Historical Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization

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Great Falls, VA  22066

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