Celebrate German heritage at this year’s Oktoberfest

By Gary Scott on October 1, 2016 at 8:51am

Fall is officially here, and to celebrate, you’re welcome to check out Oktoberfest, taking place today at the Morgan County Fairgrounds.

The 6th annual Oktoberfest is organized each year by the Jacksonville Rotary Club. Rotary Club Chair Lori Hartz and Co-chair Daphne Spradlin talked about the growth of Oktoberfest on WLDS’ “What’s On Your Mind?” program earlier this week.

“We were looking for a fundraiser that wasn’t already being done in the community. Jacksonville Rotary Club is all about hard work but having a lot of fun while doing it, so we wanted something that would be an entertaining type of activity for the community. Every year it grows a little bit more, we’re getting crowds of a thousand to…I think we had about twelve-hundred people last year, so it’s growing and I think people are getting used to spending the first Saturday in October at Oktoberfest,” says Hartz.

Festivities kicked off at noon today with the Wilkommen Ceremony and the tapping of the kegs.

According to Hartz, one of the most popular activities of the day is when the K-9s get involved in the afternoon.

“Starting with the Dogs of Deutscheland Parade, which started out with just German dogs and then it expanded to any kind of dogs in German costumes, then it expanded to any kind of pets. We’ll have a parade of animals at one o’clock. We’ll have the Wiener Dog Race, which is one of the largest events and hugest attractions for Oktoberfest. It’s hilarious if you’ve never seen a wiener dog race,” Hartz says.

Beer and wine tasting continues until 5 pm today. There are also a number of children’s activities such as face painting, pumpkin painting and old-fashioned games going on from noon to two.

Other crowd favorites are back including human foosball and a bags tournament starting at 3 o’clock.

Oktoberfest continues until 9 pm.