VANDALIA – The Vandalia Sister Cities Oktoberfest has been resurrected thanks to a group of community volunteers who stepped up to help organize and provide volunteers for the annual festival. The Oktoberfest will be held September Friday and Saturday, September 8-9 at the Vandalia Sports Complex.
“On behalf of Sister Cities I wish to thank this group of volunteers for stepping up and enabling us to restore the Oktoberfest in Vandalia,” said Vandalia Sister Cities President Harvey Kimmel. “This will be the 41st year of the Oktoberfest and we are very appreciative of the citizens stepping up to help us.”
The decision to continue the Oktoberfest was made by the Board of Directors of Vandalia Sister Cities on Monday and reverses a decision made last month to cancel the event after 40 years. The decision to cancel was made due to an aging and dwindling membership according to Oktoberfest Steering Committee Member Mike Blakesly.
At that time, he noted that the board made the decision to cancel reluctantly and would consider reversing course.
“If circumstances dramatically change the Board will re-analyze and re-evaluate if the Oktoberfest could be sustainable in 2018 and beyond,” he wrote.
Those circumstances changed after an article appeared in the Vandalia Drummer News and the Drummer News Facebook page quickly went viral. In response, multiple people contacted Sister Cities about volunteering for the event. A preliminary meeting was held last Friday and another was held on Monday prior to the Sister Cities Board meeting.
Shannon Dixon will co-chair the Steering Committee with Sister Cities President Harvey Kimmel. Anyone wishing to volunteer for the Oktoberfest is asked to contact Dixon at (937) 477-5025 or by email at ShannonDixonRealtor@yahoo.com.
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.