Third annual Elktoberfest kicks off Friday Sept. 16 at the Vancouver Elks Lodge No. 823

Photo courtesy Vancouver Elks
Photo courtesy Vancouver Elks

The inaugural Elktoberfest took place at the Vancouver Elks Lodge, located at 11605 SE McGillvray Blvd. in Vancouver on Sept. 27-28, 2019

VANCOUVER — The goal for Elktoberfest, which first began in 2019, was to create a community event, introduce a bigger target audience to the Elks and eventually create a bigger family event. From there it has grown each year.

Elktoberfest Chairperson Traci Kezar, a former St Joe’s mom who volunteered on the marketing and advertising of their Sausage Fest for many years, wanted to keep the popular festival alive, after The Sausage Fest, organized by St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and school, officially ended it’s 40-plus run in 2014.

“I was a former St Joe’s mom who volunteered on the marketing and advertising of their Sausage Fest for many years,’’ said Traci Kezar, a member of the Vancouver Elks Lodge and a key organizer of Elktoberfest. “It was a 42-year-old tradition. Many in the community had attended it for years and when it shut down the community was disappointed. It’s location was not too far from the Elks Lodge and we, too, are all about tradition so it seemed like a good fit. Our lodge also has the members and facility to support it.’’

Photo courtesy Vancouver Elks
Photo courtesy Vancouver Elks

Many ask why have Elkotberfest is in September?

According to Kezar, Oktoberfest began as the marriage ceremony between Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese on October 12, 1810 in Munich, Germany. All of the townspeople were invited to attend the festival, which took place in the fields outside of the city gates. After such a spectacular party, the happy couple decided that the same type of festival should be continued annually. In the following years, the galas were repeated every October, prolonged and eventually moved forward into September primarily because of the weather.

“The Oktoberfest begins in September and ends in October on the first Sunday in October, or on October 3, whichever is later,’’ Kezar said. “It lasts for at least 16 days, so we were thinking why stop a good thing?’’

Photo courtesy Vancouver Elks
Photo courtesy Vancouver Elks

The inaugural Elktoberfest took place at the Vancouver Elks Lodge, located at 11605 SE McGillvray Blvd. in Vancouver on Sept. 27-28, 2019. This year’s event will be open to all ages from 4-10 p.m. and will include German food, Beer Garden, bands, yard games, kid activities and more.

Entrance to Elktoberfest is $10.  Free for kids 18 and under (deleted volunteers)

About the Vancouver Elks

The original Elks Lodge 823 was in downtown Vancouver. Since 1902, Elks Lodge 823 has been helping the Vancouver community through its numerous projects and events that benefit our neighbors, children and disadvantaged families. It also includes social activities for its members and guests and is a great place to make new friends, stay active and gather among colleagues.

Yearly, the over 600 members of Vancouver Elks Lodge No. 823 have:

  • Raised money for the Washington Elks Children’s Therapy Program
  • Donated over 1,500 stuffed animals 
  • Donated over 300 food boxes yearly for families
  • Taught discipline, hard work and practice through Hoop Shoot program
  • Contributed more than $3,650 in scholarships
  • Contributed over $35,000 in support to over 500 veterans in Clark County through our veterans programs.
  • Supplied backpacks and school supplies to local schools and disadvantaged youth.
  • Held a community Children’s Easter Egg Hunt and Christmas party

For more information, go to https://elks823.org/


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