VANDALIA – The Vandalia Sister Cities Oktoberfest will not be held in 2017, ending its 40 year run.
That news was delivered via The Sister Cities Scoop, the organization’s monthly newsletter.
Board and Oktoberfest Steering Committee Member Mike Blakesly wrote that the decision was made on March 15 after a “thorough and painstaking discussion.”
“After much dialogue, it became obvious we are no longer in a position to keep the Oktoberfest going because of a number of challenges,” Blakesly wrote. The biggest challenges are an aging segment among our ranks and the reduced number of members. The physical strain is just too much of a burden on our members without an adequate amount of younger membership to help, plan, organize, setup, and teardown the event.”
Blakesly wrote that the decision came with sadness and consternation. Board members expressed concerned that the Oktoberfest had become a mainstay and a community celebration and said it was heart breaking to end it.
The Oktoberfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2016.
Blakesly said that the future of the Oktoberfest is unclear.
“If circumstances dramatically change the Board will re-analyze and re-evaluate if the Oktoberfest could be sustainable in 2018 and beyond,” he wrote.
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.