VANDALIA — It’s time for the 39th Annual Sister Cities of Vandalia Oktoberfest. The Oktoberfest will be held Friday through Sunday, September 11-13, at the newly-christened Lichtenfels-Prestwick Field at the Vandalia Sports Complex.
The Oktoberfest features authentic German food, arts and crafts, a kids corner, gambling, and live entertainment. And what would an Oktoberfest be without beer? Bottled beers will feature Mt. Carmel Harvest, Brooklyn Oktoberfest, Erdinger Dunkel, Thirsty Dog, Hofbrau Oktoberfest, Erdinger Hefe, Ayinger Oktoberfest, Ayinger Jahrnund, Paulander Lager, as well as draft selections.
Food selections will feature authentic German fare as well as traditional American favorites. On the menu is homemade German potato salad, cabbage rolls, hamburgers, giant brats, mets, hot dogs, pretzels, cream puffs and strudel, popcorn, funnel cakes, draft and bottled beer, and wine.
There will be games for children, arts and crafts booths, and gambling Friday and Saturday evening from 6 p.m. to midnight.
The Oktoberfest will be open Friday from 6 p.m. to midnight; Saturday noon to midnight; and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entry is $4.00 and the wristband is good for the entire weekend. Children under 12 are free. No pets are allowed.
Performing at this year’s Oktoberfest will be the Sauerkraut Band from 6 – 7:30 p.m. on Friday followed by the Kabberheads from 7:30 – midnight.
On Saturday, the Sauerkraut Band will perform from noon – 2:30 p.m. followed by the Euromutts Band (3 – 7 p.m.), Dance Expressions from 7 – 8 p.m. with Stanger ending the night from 8 p.m. to midnight.
The Sauerkraut Band will return on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Oktoberfest was begun in 1978 when Vandalia Sister Cities were looking to raise funds for hosting guests from Sister City Lichtenfels on a cultural exchange. It was a resounding success and has been held every year since. The money has allowed Sister Cities to arrange unusual and interesting visits for their guests in addition to funding scholarships, yearly youth exchanges, the Butler High School After Prom, Vandalia food pantry, and other charitable causes.
Sister Cities was formed by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956 with the goal of promoting peace and prosperity by creating bonds between people from different cities around the world.
Vandalia became a member of Sister Cities in 1975 when it was paired with Lichtenfels, Germany. In 1993, a second city, Prestwick, Scotland became a Sister City of Vandalia. Prestwick was already a Sister City with Lichtenfels, and the three cities formed a unique triangular arrangement.
Darrell Wacker can be reached at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.