WEST ALEXANDRIA — As the temperature begins to drop and leaves begin to change, the Kiwanis Oktoberfest is celebrating its 50th anniversary in West Alexandria.
To celebrate the momentous occasion, the festival will feature a beer garden for the first time.
The annual festival will be held at Peace Park, located off U.S. 35 East, and will run from Saturday through Sunday, Oct. 14-15. On Saturday the festival will open at 10:30 a.m. and close at 6:30 p.m., while on Sunday it will open at 11:30 a.m. and close at 6:30 p.m.
The festival will kick off with the Scarecrow Scamper 5K Walk/Run and 10K Run on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. Same day registration is $25. Winners will be announced for over-all and male/female age groups first, second, and third place. Pre-race check in begins at 7:45 a.m.
There will be a parade starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday. There many local organizations and groups will march and hand out candy. Oktoberfest Miss and Mr. candidates will ride in the parade.
Opening ceremonies will follow immediately after the parade, including the crowing of the Queen and “Citizen of the Year.” Alpha Kappa Sorority will recognize all former Oktoberfest Queens.
There will be a law enforcement canine demonstration on Saturday afternoon from 1-5 p.m. at the rear of the festival grounds. No dogs or pets of any kind are permitted in the park during the festival.
The festival will also host a pumpkin contest and a scarecrow building contest.
Pre-decorated or carved pumpkins must be in place by the gazebo by 2 p.m. on Saturday. Name and address of participant must be placed on a paper under the pumpkin. Judging will start after 2 p.m. Winners will be announced between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m.
Scarecrows must be in place by the gazebo by 2 p.m. on Saturday. Stakes to hold up the scarecrow will be furnished. Name and address of participant must be placed on a paper attached to the scarecrow. Judging will start after 2 p.m. Winners will be announced between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m.
At 4 p.m. on Saturday, winners of the Second Annual Oktoberfest Miss and Mr. Pageant will be announced. The contest is for girls and boys ages 12 months to eighth grade.
On Sunday at noon, an antique care covered bridge run will be held. A Kiddie Tractor Pull will also take place. Registration is by 2 p.m. on Sunday at the Gazebo with a $1 entry fee. The categories are three to five years old, five to six years old, and seven to eight years old. The tractor pull starts at 2 p.m.
Something Good will be performing on Sunday from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.
On both Saturday and Sunday there will be entertainment provided by Bluegrass Express (formerly the Dixie Ryders) from 1:30-5:30 p.m.
Other activities offered are an Arts & Crafts Festival with many handmade crafts; homemade and German Food – pork and sauerkraut, cabbage roll casserole, homemade apple dumplings, BBQ chicken, BBQ pork chops, and many other food items; Apple butter making; a beer garden both days of the festival and free children’s games every half hour at the back of the festival grounds on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.
There are also 50th Anniversary Oktoberfest shirts for sale. Contact Beving Hager at 937-207-4151 to order.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH