This weekend the German Club celebrated Oktoberfest on a much smaller scale than previous years.
The event in the club hall drew just 500 people across the weekend, compared to more than 4000 who would turn up to enjoy some German beers under the big top on the grass.
Club manager Robert Prstec said the changes in venue and size were brought about due to COVID.
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"COVID fixed us up over the last two or three years so the funds that we would have used for Oktoberfest we had to use to keep the club alive," Mr Prstec said.
"Our volunteer base has also fallen. In the past we'd have 150 volunteers - at the moment we're sort of sitting on about 15 to 20."
Mr Prstec said there were concerns about how the much smaller event would go but he was pleasantly surprised by this weekend.
"We didn't think it was going to be a great success for us because most of our clients had been going 'oh no, it needs to be in a big tent'," he said.
"But this last weekend was just amazing for us. Everyone that came through all stayed."
With numbers greatly reduced, a lot of people were caught out while trying to buy tickets at the last minute.
"We started advertising two months ago and it went really slow but then probably the last month it started filling up," he said.
"Once we got to the numbers this last week the amount of people we had to decline, it's a shame. If the clubhouse was a lot bigger we could have had more people but I've got what I've got.
"The worst thing about it is the Germans were still out there thinking 'because we're German we can just book it in and come in' but you've got to knock them back as well because you don't have any more seats."
But there might be a return to the larger event under the big top in the coming years.
"Maybe one day we'll do it again," Mr Prstec said.
"In another couple of years' times the club's going to celebrate 30 years in this clubhouse but over 50 years in the Wollongong area.
"If things go okay for us we might even pull it off then."
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