Wilmont to host Oktoberfest
WILMONT — You won’t need to wear lederhosen, and there’s no need to worry if you turn up your nose at sauerkraut. Wilmont will welcome you to its small-town charm anyway.
On Saturday, the community will host its second annual Oktoberfest celebration, complete with polka music, bratwursts and sauerkraut, games for kids, vendor booths and an evening of partying with Hicktown Mafia.
A variety of activities and entertainment is planned for people of all ages at three main venues in town — the Wilmont Veterans of Foreign Wars hall, Community Center and city maintenance shed.
“Various groups within the city are going to be using it as a fundraiser event,” said Wade Johnson, chairman of the Oktoberfest committee, adding that proceeds will be divided between the Wilmont Fire and Relief Association, VFW and the Wilmont Cardinals baseball team. A portion will also be used as seed money to ensure Oktoberfest returns to Wilmont in 2014.
The annual celebration was established last year as a way to bring a festival back to Wilmont. The community had gone several years without a town celebration.
“With the German heritage, that’s where we came up with the Oktoberfest celebration,” Johnson said.
Added to the celebration this year is KidFest, planned from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday on the open lot north of the Wilmont VFW. Sponsored by Loo-Con Inc., the event will include face painting, a bean bag toss, potato sack races, washer toss, sponge water race, duck pond, balloon dart pop and football toss. Kids will also be invited to roll giant dice for a chance to win in the grand-prize drawing slated to take place at 6 p.m.
Also new for Oktoberfest 2013 is a Wilmont Oktoberfest Bean Bag tournament for adults ages 18 and older. The tournament will begin at noon, with registration at 11:30 a.m., on the grounds north of Wilmont Saloon No. 7.
More than a dozen vendors will offer products and services at the Wilmont Community Center from 2 to 6 p.m., where the Wilmont Heritage Room will also be open to visitors. At the same time, the Larry Olsen Polka Band from Lake Benton will perform in the Wilmont VFW.
From noon to midnight, visitors will be able to dine on burgers, brats, hot dogs, sauerkraut, chips and beverages, which will be served both at the VFW and the city maintenance shed. Adults may also purchase collectible bottomless steins at both locations.
Johnson said volunteers will also sell T-shirts, sweatshirts and other Oktoberfest memorabilia throughout the day.
Rounding out the day’s celebration is a performance by Hicktown Mafia. The band will play from 8 p.m. to midnight in the city maintenance shed.
“The Larry Olsen Band and Hicktown Mafia both played last year,” Johnson said. “It was a huge success, and they both wanted to come back.”
With about 15 volunteers working to ensure Saturday’s celebration is a success, Johnson invites everybody to visit Wilmont.
“We want everybody to enjoy, have fun and be safe,” he said.