NEW PALESTINE – The New Palestine Lions Club has announced a new twist on a long-standing tradition: Oktoberfest.
The 70-plus year tradition of a three-day Fall Festival will be changed to a one-day Oktoberfest on Saturday, Sept. 16, celebrating the community’s German heritage.
“We still wanted the tradition of having the Fall Festival but give it a twist,” said organizer Caralee Griffith in an email. “New Palestine has deep German roots. So, we thought, what better way to honor our town than by having an Oktoberfest with all of the authentic fun that comes with that!”
The traditional parade on Main Street and vendors will remain, and there will be a Kids Root Beer Garden, performances by Hearts Ablaze cloggers and the New Palestine High School choir. There will be an all-class reunion as well.
“This year, though, guests will get to participate in traditional German games (get your teams gathered and sign up), delicious German food, German beer and topping off the day is the polka music of Der Polkatz,” Griffith said.
Visitors should bring lawn chairs for the live polka band.
The tradition is changing to a one-day event, Griffith said, because finding volunteers to manage a longer event is increasingly difficult.
“We have dedicated members who plan and execute these events in addition to working full-time and running their own businesses. We still want to bring a quality event to the community and to do so means making some adjustments to how we do that,” Griffith said. “In addition, patrons coming to the event are busy. There are so many activities that take up people’s time these days. New Palestine is a lot different now than it was 70-plus years ago. We have to have an event that makes people want to put it on their calendar and make sure they attend.
The festival schedule includes a parade on Main Street at 11 a.m.; Oktoberfest opens at Lions Club Park at 1 p.m.; Hearts Ablaze Cloggers at 1:30 p.m.; NPHS Choir at 2:30 p.m.; authentic adult German games at 3 p.m.; all-class NPHS reunion at 5 p.m.; and live music by Der Polkatz at 7 p.m.
“We are so excited to host this,” Griffith added. “We have gotten many sponsors to help support us in our mission of ‘We Serve.’ By doing this event and our Fall Purse Bingo, we are able to raise money and continue to help our community.”
For updates, visit facebook.com/newpallions.