Elmira residents won’t have to travel any further than their own city limits to roll out the barrel and celebrate Canada’s greatest Bavarian festival this year as the Elmira Kiwanis Club are getting set to host their very first annual Oktoberfest. The Kiwanis Club will be operating a K-W Oktoberfest accredited festhall, aptly named Elmira Kiwanis Haus, at Lions’ Hall, 40 South Street West, on Saturday, Oct. 16.
“This is a great venue for an Oktoberfest hall,” says Kiwanis Club member and event Chair Jim Schwindt. “There are a lot of people here in Woolwich who might like to celebrate Oktoberfest close to home, as well as people from the city who would like to take a drive through St. Jacob’s and Mennonite country and enjoy dinner, dancing and music at a genuine festhall.”
Kiwanis Club member Tony Dowling compared the preparation to that of the club’s annual Lobsterfest, noting that food preparation is what the Kiwanis Club does best.
“The music will be great, the beer will be cold, and the food will be outstanding,” added Schwindt. “Our club is famous for good food. We’ve been serving up schnitzel and sausages and authentic German potato pancakes for decades at Maple Syrup Festival and dozens of other events. We have cooking for large groups down to a science.” Traditional Oktoberfest fare will be served and will include a selection of schnitzel, sausage, potato pancakes and sauerkraut.
Members of the K-W Oktoberfest committee will be traveling into Woolwich to decorate the Haus in official K-W Oktoberfest regalia, complete with banners, streamers, signage, and Oktoberfest souvenirs. Local disc jockey Mike Daudlin will be playing everyone’s favourite polkas and oom-pah-pah music for those who would like to take a turn on the dance floor.
The event will be held as a one-day celebration this year, but if the response and turnout are good, it may be expanded to additional days in future years.
Proceeds from the event will go to the Kiwanis Club in support of local community causes including the Kiwanis Music Festival, the Santa Claus Parade, Meals on Wheels, Kiwanis Transit, Kiwanis Christmas Food Drive, the Woolwich Memorial Centre, and many others.
Doors open for advance ticket holders at 5:30 p.m. Adults only. Advance tickets (admission and entertainment only) are $10, with admission guaranteed until 8:30 p.m. Advance tickets can be purchased from Kiwanis Club members, or at www.oktoberfest.ca, Read’s Decorating (27 Arthur Street South), FB&Me (57 Arthur Street South) and Elmira Stove Works (285 Union Street). Tickets may also be available at the door for $15, capacity permitting. For more information on the Kiwanis Club of Elmira, contact Tony Dowling at 669-1281, or visit www.elmirakiwanisclub.com.