Let the good times roll: Oktoberfest set for launch

Inaugural two- day community event slated Sept. 21- 22
by Jeff Pederson Sheboygan Falls News Editor

THE INAUGURAL Sheboygan Falls Lions Club and KPAL Oktoberfest community fundraiser will take place Sept. 21-22 at River Park. The event will feature a variety of kids’ infl atable rides and activities (left photos. The Toys (at top right) will perform Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. 
Submittedphotos THE INAUGURAL Sheboygan Falls Lions Club and KPAL Oktoberfest community fundraiser will take place Sept. 21-22 at River Park. The event will feature a variety of kids’ infl atable rides and activities (left photos. The Toys (at top right) will perform Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. Submittedphotos Promising a little bit of something for everyone, the inaugural Sheboygan Falls Lions Club/ Kohler Police Athletic League (KPAL) Oktoberfest community festival is set to open with a bang Sept. 21-22 at River Park in downtown Sheboygan Falls.

Sheboygan Falls Lions Club Vice President and Oktoberfest Co-Chairperson Al Mayer said through a partnership with the neighboring KPAL organization, Oktoberfest is shaping up to be the type of large-scale community event that has been missing since the Jaycees Falls Fest ended its 40- year run in 2010.

“Ever since the Sheboygan Falls Jaycees disbanded and Falls Fest ended, we felt that it was important to bring back a large-scale community festival type of event that would have a little bit of something for everyone,” Mayer said. “We felt fall was a perfect time to do it and since it is in the first week of fall, we wanted to draw on the Oktoberfest theme.”

There is certainly no shortage of activities on the agenda, as Oktoberfest adult attendees will have an opportunity to participate in a bean bag contest and home brewing competition, while kids will have an assortment of inflatable rides, games and karaoke contests to choose from.

Of course there will also be plenty of live music, food, spirits and social time for all.

Activity gets under way Friday, Sept. 21 at 5 p.m. with a fish fry slated for the first 300 people. In addition, Pat McCurdy will kick off the live music lineup with a performance from 6-8 p.m., followed by Oil Can Harry from 8:30-11:30 p.m.

PAT MCCURDY will be among the featured performers at the Sheboygan Falls Lions Club-KPAL Oktobertfest event Sept. 21- 22 at River Park in Sheboygan Falls. - Submitted photo PAT MCCURDY will be among the featured performers at the Sheboygan Falls Lions Club-KPAL Oktobertfest event Sept. 21- 22 at River Park in Sheboygan Falls. - Submitted photo “We are excited to be able to offer a fish fry on Friday night, which is a big Wisconsin tradition,” Mayer said. “That will be limited to the first 300 people, so we encourage everyone to come out early for that.

“We also have two very popular local bands – Pat McCurdy and Oil Can Harry – to get our weekend of live music started on Friday night,” he said.

A full plate of events, activities, contests and performances is slated for Saturday, Sept. 22.

The St. Paul Men’s Club will host an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast in the river pavilion from 8-10:30 a.m., which will be followed by bingo from 11 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. and a performance by the Kingsmen Polka Band from 3-6 p.m.

“We have grouped the pancake breakfast, bingo and polka band in the same area, which we think will be popular with quite a large group of people,” Mayer said.

The first annual HTT Cornhole Bean Bag Challenge will begin at 10 a.m. on the River Park tennis courts.

The tournament will feature separate divisions for contestants age 18 and under and 19 and over, as well as a corporate division.

Play will follow American Cornhole Association (ACA) rules, which can be viewed at www.playcornhole.org/rules.shtml

Advance registration forms are available on the Oktoberfest website www.kohlerfallsoktoberfest.com Checks must be made payable to SF Lions/KPAL Oktoberfest.

Registration is $30 per player and $20 before Sept. 8. Registration will be limited to the first 32 teams registered and paid by division.

Cash prizes will be distributed to the top three finishes in the youth (18 and under) and adult (19 and over) divisions with first place earning $200, second place $100 and third place $50.

The corporate division will feature trophies for first, second and third-place finishers.

“The bean bag tournament is a little bit different, but it is something you are seeing more often in the area,” Mayer said. “We are planning to have 10 courts going at one time, with play expected to last throughout the day. It is definitely a growing sport that we think will be a lot of fun for the contestants.”

In keeping with the Oktoberfest theme, a home brewing demonstration and contest is scheduled to run from 9 a.m.-noon.

The free home brew demonstration will feature local experts offering tips and ideas on home brewing.

“This will hopefully give the novice some tips and advice on how to do home brewing,” Mayer said. “We will also have some of the top craft home brewers from throughout the state on hand to answer questions and to judge the contest. We will have representatives from New Glarus, Potosi Brewing and Ale Asylum in attendance.”

The Home Brew Challenge follows from 11 a.m.-noon. For a $5 entry fee, local home brewers can submit their creations for taste testing.

Entry forms are available on the Oktoberfest website. Entries will be accepted at The Other Place in downtown Sheboygan Falls in advance of the event.

“The home brew contest is something we wanted to do just for fun, because it fits in perfectly with our Oktoberfest theme,” Mayer said. “It will give local home brewers a chance to see how their beer stacks up against others in the area.”

Inflatable activities for kids will be offered free of charge, along with other youth-oriented events on the midway.

Young children will have an opportunity to try out a bouncy house, spider slide, helicopter and toddler center inflatables.

For the older crowd, larger activities such as a climbing wall, obstacle course and bungee run will be featured.

“Our goal is to offer activities for all age groups, including kids,” Mayer said. “The inflatables will be grouped in areas for smaller kids and older kids and adults. We plan to have seven or eight infl atables, so there will be plenty of variety.”

In addition, a game room will feature such favorites as air hockey, pool and Foosball.

Kids karaoke is also scheduled in the lagoon shelter.

“Karaoke is quite popular today, especially among kids,” Mayer said. “We are hoping this appeals to younger kids right up through teenagers. We plan to have judges that will give away some prizes as well.”

Five kids’ activity and game tickets will be available for purchase for $1, with each activity taking one ticket.

Some of the biggest bands in the area are slated to set onto the main stage at River Park on Saturday.

The live music lineup includes: IC3 (11 a.m.-noon), Strawberry Jam (12:30-2:30 p.m.), the Leech Boys of Minneapolis, Minn. (3-5 p.m.), Crossfire (6-8 p.m.) and The Toys (8:30-11:30 p.m.).

“We have a nice mixture of bands which range from the country rock of Crossfire to the bluesbased music of Leech Boys and the rock and pop of The Toys,” Mayer said. “We have some very well known bands that have a large following in northeastern and southeastern Wisconsin.”

On Saturday morning, Oktoberfest will run in conjunction with the annual Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Walk to Cure Diabetes fundraising event for individuals coping with type 1 diabetes.

The JDRF event, which also features a 5K run this year, will begin at 9 a.m.

“We have enjoyed working with the JDRF on this event,” Mayer said. “That was traditionally the day that they did their walk, so we are happy that they have agreed to have us join them this year.

“They will be set up on the east end of the park near the gazebo as in past years,” he said. “We have arranged for the JDRF participants to receive a wristband for the infl atables and a coupon for the food stand at Oktoberfest. We will also have our volunteers assisting with the run.”

For more information on the JDRF Run/Walk to Cure Diabetes, call Sandy Lange at 803-8820 or slange@jdrf.org

The food tent will be serving the traditional brats, burgers and corn on the cob. Culvers will be on hand with frozen custard, while the mobile kettle corn and gyro trucks will also be in attendance.

Other community organizations and small businesses are invited to participate by having a booth at the event.

Mayer says the event would not be possible without the support of over 250 volunteers and an array of area businesses.

“There are so many people and businesses that have stepped up to make this a reality,” Mayer said.

Major sponsors include: Poly Vinyl, Larry’s Distributing, Sargento, Lakeside Pepsi, Sheboygan Chevrolet, Austin Gray Foundry, Bemis Manufacturing, Kohler Co., Masters Gallery, Dulmes Decor, Bitter Neumann and Jimmy John’s.

The Sheboygan Falls Lions Club, which boasts approximately 70 members, hopes to use the proceeds from the event to raise funds for the new westside park project

KAPL, which features 75 members, will use funds from Oktoberfest to support various youth programs and activities in Kohler.

“We hope that this turns out to be a great family event and a great event for the community as a whole,” Mayer said. “There is no cover charge for the bands, which is really a great value. We are anxious to get this event off the ground this year.”

For more information on Oktoberfest, contact Al Mayer at 889- 8159 or e-mail aljmayer@aol.com or Jeff Romanoski at 918-0352 or jeff.romanoski@sheboyganauto.com

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