VANDALIA — It’s time for the 42nd Annual Sister Cities of Vandalia Oktoberfest. The Oktoberfest will be held Friday and Saturday, September 7-8, at Lichtenfels-Prestwick Field at the Vandalia Sports Complex. The Oktoberfest is sponsored by Platinum Sponsor Beau Townsent Ford Lincoln Nissan.
The Oktoberfest features authentic German food, gambling, and live entertainment. And what would an Oktoberfest be without beer? Vandalia’s own Hairless Hare Brewery will be featured along with many draft and bottled beers and wine.
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, and more.
Organizers are looking for volunteers. Positions range from serving food, tickets, gate duty, etc. Each volunteer is fed and has fun.
“This is a very big event and the Menus will also be playing,” said Sister Cities of Vandalia Board Member Paula Gibbs. “We had a blast last year. There’s tasty food, gambling tents, crafts, good people, great craft beers, and fantastic German wines. It’s just a big German party and everyone is welcome.”
Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to contact Gibbs by email at Pjgibbs21@gmail.com.
There will be arts and crafts booths, and gambling Friday evening from 6 p.m. to midnight and Saturday from 1 p.m. to midnight. Also, a Kid’s Korner hosted by All About Dance will include canvas painting, sand art, temporary tattoos, face painting, and games with prizes.
The Oktoberfest will be open Friday from 6 p.m. to midnight and Saturday noon to midnight. Entry is $5.00 and the wristband is good for the entire weekend. Children under 12 are free. No pets are allowed but service animals are welcome.
Performing at this year’s Oktoberfest will be Todd Moore on Friday. He will perform from 6-7 p.m. and again from 10 p.m. to midnight with Music Bingo in between from 7-10 p.m.
On Saturday, music will be provided by Good Vibrations and DJ Dave Marquette from noon to 7 p.m. The Menus will follow from 8-11 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 raised by Oktoberfest 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.