Oktoberfest returns to Jacksonville this weekend

By Jim McCabe on October 2 at 1:17pm

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For a day, Jacksonville will spell October with a K.

That day is Saturday, when the third annual Jacksonville Rotary Club Oktoberfest takes place on the Morgan County Fairgrounds. It’s happening from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Festivities include German music, a beer and wine tasting event, the ever-popular wiener dog race and a bags and washers tournament. The Willkommen ceremony and keg-tapping is at noon. It mimics the 180-year-old Oktoberfest ceremony that takes place in Munich, Germany every year.

Allen Stare is one of the Rotary Club members who helps organize the event.

“This has turned into just a phenomenal fundraiser for us. Every Rotarian works at this thing. Every Rotarian in our club is out there working. They all put in at least a four-hour shift. Some of them are doing double shifts. Some of them are bringing the family to work and help out. It’s a huge event,” says Stare.

“We’re bringing in over a thousand people in one day in Morgan County at the fairgrounds, and it’s all about the beer and the food and the music and having a good time.”

The food for this event includes brats, sauerkraut, pretzels and German Potato Salad.

Stare reminds us that the Rotary Club has done its best to accommodate the huge crowd that shows up for the wiener dog races.

“Last year, we actually created a ‘weenie arena’ with grandstand area. We had seating we had a PA system, we lined out this beautiful area out there in the open field part of the fairgrounds there to the north,” he says. “Still, the crush was just amazing. We filled up the bleachers just instantly, and then people were all around it. It’s just such a fun event.”

Other events include stein endurance and the keg roll.

Proceeds for the event go towards Rotarian-oriented charity work. Tickets are $4 in advance and $5 at the door. They can be purchased at County Market, SafeCo, or Our Town books or by contacting any Rotarian.