For the second year, the event will be held at the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex
RIDGEFIELD — The fifth annual Ridgefield Oktoberfest will be in full swing Sat., Sept. 14 in partnership with the Ridgefield School District event, Experience Ridgefield.
The Oktoberfest is a family-friendly event put on by nonprofit Ridgefield Main Street, that features German-style food, local beer within the Bier Garten, live music, wiener dog races, and a family costume contest for best Bavarian-themed outfit.
“It’s a nice combination of family friendly and beer garden,” said Ridgefield Main Street Executive Director Marykay Lamoureaux. “Even if you are parents who want to drink some beer, but you have kids there, there is room and opportunity for both things to happen. We’re not exclusively targeting 21-year-old, single people. It’s definitely family friendly.”
The event will be held at the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex (RORC) from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and has free admission. Admission to the beer garden is $15 and includes the first pour. VIP entry is also available for $25.
Wiener dog races, which is open to all Dachshunds, costs $5 and registration will close at 3:30 p.m. The pre-registration is open now. Last year, some 40 dogs participated in seven rounds of races.
The family costume contest will last from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. with a sign-in and photo booth for judging the costumes. The winner will be announced at 1 p.m.
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Family Main Stage will be open, and will feature live musical performances by the Vancouver German Band and accordion player Steve Knape. Within the beer garden, performances will also include the Michael Fischer Oompah Band and COOLEY Show.
All money raised by Oktoberfest goes to Ridgefield Main Street to help with their endeavour to revitalize the downtown of the city. In conjunction with the event, Experience Ridgefield, a school district event, will raise money for local education.
This is the second year the event has been held at the RORC, and as Lamoureaux explained, was not an effort to move the event away from downtown and its businesses. It was rather, to raise more money with a larger venue and use those funds to eventually bring the event back to downtown.
“The hope was to grow both events,” Lamoureaux said. “We are excited this year, that more people are familiar with the facility, having gone to Raptors games, all summer. We did have some announcements and some publicity over the summer about Oktoberfest coming up. So we are looking forward to increased turnout, participation and overall attendance.”
Oktoberfest is the only fundraising event for Ridgefield Main Street annually, so much of their community funding originates there. The rest of the nonprofit’s income is provided through contributions from area businesses and donors.
Recently, the organization allocated $20,000 for grant purposes with downtown store owners. Named the Facade Improvement Grant Program, the funds were given to store owners to use for updating their storefronts and awnings. The group has already distributed $10,000 of the grant.
“We have a certain amount of money that we know that we have during the year,” Lamoureaux said. “That Facade Improvement Grant Program was one priority that we really saw could make a visible impact and show the value that the organization brings to downtown.”
In addition to the grant, the organization has also allocated funding for year-round flower baskets in downtown, and Main Street Moola; a special currency only redeemable at stores in downtown Ridgefield. When the moola is used at a store, Ridgefield Main Street reimburses the business.
For more information on Oktoberfest or Experience Ridgefield, visit the Eventbrite page or www.ridgefieldmainstreet.com