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Lakefield's Oktoberfest is on tap for Saturday

The festival serves as a fundraiser for Immanuel Lutheran Church’s private school, with a bit put aside to pay for performers at the event.

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FILE PHOTO: Lakefield's Oktoberfest celebration was promoted with a float in Worthington's King Turkey Day parade in 2019. (Tim Middagh / The Globe)
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LAKEFIELD — As the leaves have begun to turn, there’s a chill in the air and beer in the stein, all of which can only mean one thing — it’s time for Immanuel Oktoberfest in Lakefield once again.

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“It is a blast,” said Larry Oelke, chairman of Immanuel Lutheran's Oktoberfest committee. “There’s a lot of the older people that don’t get out, but they come here.”

Lakefield’s sixth annual Oktoberfest will run from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday at North City Park, rain or shine, as large tents and a shelter house are available if the fall weather turns inclement, Oelke said.

Getting to North City Park should be a little easier for out-of-towners Saturday, too, as Minnesota 86 will be open all the way through town for the weekend, unless something comes up, Oelke said. Oktoberfest-goers should be able to continue up 86 until they reach Seventh or Eighth Avenue and drive three blocks east to get to the celebration.

“We hope it’s gonna be a barn-burner this year, because it sure sounds like it’s gonna be nice weather,” Oelke said.

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The festival serves as a fundraiser for Immanuel Lutheran Church’s private school, with a bit put aside to pay for performers at the event.

This year, those performers are Malek’s Fishermen Band, who will be at the park playing a variety of dance music, including traditional polkas and schottisches, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the Rod Cerar Orchestra, who will play a mix of contemporary and traditional dance tunes from 4 to 8 p.m.

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“Both bands will play just about 90% of the requests,” Oelke said.

Authentic German food will be served from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., including the famous sauerbraten meatball subs and plenty of other German treats, with outdoor food booths offering kielbasa, funnel cake and pretzels.

The beer garden, featuring Schöfferhofer Hefeweizen Grapefruit Schell’s Oktoberfest beer and a Grain Belt brew, will be open to those of drinking age from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Shelter House Area.

A large vendor and craft fair will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. under the big tent, with vendors selling wood crafts, canned goods, goat milk products and more. During that same time, kids’ carnival-style games will be available, including train rides around the park.

The two competitions for grownups will be back this year as well, with hammer pounding starting at 3 p.m. and stein-holding at 3:30 p.m.

The festival raffle drawing, which helps raise funds for the event, will be at 8:15 p.m. in the park.

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The raffle will include some major prizes, such as a charcoal smoker, a $500 meat bundle from the Lakefield Butcher Shop and a $400 gift certificate to Maynard’s, rounds of golf, an overnight stay at a resort and gift certificates galore, but there’s also a prize this year: a restaurant crawl.

“We went to 10 of the local restaurants and purchased a $50 gift certificate from each of them,” Oelke explained.

One person will get the gift certificates to Silverbacks, LaTejanita, Dudley’s, the HI-Lo Club, VFW in Lakefield, Junction 86, Horsebarn & Hunt Club, The Shed, Holiday in Lakefield and Blue Barn in Okabena.

Raffle tickets are $10 each and can be purchased until Saturday at Cutting Image in Lakefield and throughout Oktoberfest Saturday.

A 1999 graduate of Jackson County Central and a 2003 graduate of Augsburg College, Kari Lucin started writing for newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota in 2006. During her time as a reporter, she covered beats including education, watershed, county and agriculture, and frequently wrote about health and science. She has also served as an online content coordinator and an engagement specialist at various Forum Communications properties. She was a marketing assistant at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville for two years, where she did design work in addition to writing and social media management.

Lucin is currently a community editor with the Globe of Worthington.

Email: klucin@dglobe.com
Phone: (507) 376-7319
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