Joining in on the expansion of Oktoberfest outside of the Twin Cities, Wellesley enters the festive fray this year with its first-ever event. The Wellesley & District Lions Club is hosting an Oktoberfest celebration in the village on October 13.
“This is the first time we’ve done this,” explained organizer Blair Cressman. “Everyone is welcome – this is a fun event for community members to come out, catch up with friends, meet the neighbours, and enjoy a night of fun and food and drink.”
It is set to take place at the Wellesley Community Centre starting at 8 p.m., expected to go on until about 1 a.m.
Oktoberfest games will join the event classics: beer, sausage, sauerkraut, soft pretzels and the like, noted Lions Club member Val Johnson.
“We’ll have German beer, craft beer sampling, and maybe even Jagermeister for those that want to walk down that road,” added Cressman with a laugh. “One or two German-style pilsners or wheat beers and a mixture of other refreshments to help lubricate your evening.”
A seven-piece band, Amplified Midlife Crisis, will be performing throughout the night.
“They’re a cover band doing general rock and pop hits,” explained Cressman. “They’ll do some fun Oktoberfest music. It should be the right fit for the crowd. We’re not looking at a sit-down, old-style Oktoberfest. We’re aiming more towards a fun, rocking Oktoberfest night. It can be hard to hit it on all the right avenues but encouraging people to dress up, bring their friends, have a good night and we’re going to have some games and traditional Oktoberfest fare.”
Since this is a first for the club, the Lions don’t quite know what kind of turnout to expect. Come what may, the group hopes to make it a tradition. With that in mind, Cressman is encouraging everyone interested to purchase tickets ahead of time.
“We anticipate 200-300 people range, but it’s our first year doing it so it’s a bit hard to nail down your expected numbers,” he said. “We are offering tickets through EventBrite, which is the first time the Lions have sold tickets online. And that’s actually been well-received. Instead of driving to retail locations to purchase tickets. We found in previous years where you have to buy a ticket at a retail location like Pym’s or Esso, everyone buys them in the last three days before the event – ‘Oh, yeah I’ve got to get my tickets!” And it really makes it hard to judge your need for food and beverages for an event.“
Printed tickets are still available at retail locations including Pym’s Village Market, The Wellesley Service Centre, Esso and The Town Barker. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. All of the proceeds are going towards Habitat for Humanity.
“This also helps generate some funds in our budget that were lost due to the pond being emptied as part of our bridge construction on Nafziger,” explained Cressman. “That was part of what was behind this. We do generate a decent amount of funds from the fishing derby every year.”
Along with the retail locations, tickets can be found online at Eventbrite.