Grow Greater Greenfield (G3)’s eighth annual Oktoberfest was held on Saturday on South Washington Street. G3 Chairman and Oktoberfest Organizing Committee member Merleen Van Dyke told The Times-Gazette that the event was a success.
”It was great. It was a very hot day, so it didn’t really draw a crowd until 6 p.m.,” Van Dyke said.
Because of the heat, Van Dyke said that Small Town Fitness’ obstacle course challenge, which was scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m., didn’t do so well despite offering a $400 prize.
“The obstacle course didn’t have a very good turn out,” Van Dyke said. “I think part of that was the heat, and part of it may have been the way we had it laid out. It’s the first year we’ve done it this way. We’ll tweak it a little bit next year. The kids loved it. That wasn’t his intention, but he had a lot of kids go through it.”
The STOOCH obstacle course wasn’t the only new event this year. G3 also added a Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Contest, which was one of Van Dyke’s favorite events this year. This year’s contest featured Greenfield Exempted Village Schools staff and board members. Van Dyke said that G3 plans to feature “celebrity” contestants from different organizations each year. For next year’s Oktoberfest, she said she hopes to draw contestants from Greenfield’s City Hall.
The Doxie Derby, also known as the Wiener Dog Race, was a hit once again, Van Dyke said.
“We’ve never had very many dogs in the race, and this year there were enough dogs to have three heats and then a championship,” Van Dyke said. “We’ve really grown our wiener dog race.”
This is the first year that Oktoberfest attendees were allowed to have beer in the street, and Van Dyke told The Times-Gazette that she thinks it really helped vendors.
“It helps the Lions Club, it helps the vendors, it helps everyone. Before, we always had to use just a little area off to the side for the beer garden, so [the ability to have beer in the street] helped everyone out,” Van Dyke said. ”Everyone thought being able to have beer in the street was great.”
Van Dyke said that the Lions Club almost sold out of food.
The Oktoberfest event raised around $1,300 for G3, Van Dyke said, which will go towards multiple projects around Greenfield.
Van Dyke’s already looking ahead to the 2020 Oktoberfest. She told The Times-Gazette that next year, the layout may be a little different.
“We put our thinking caps on to see how we can make things better for the kids’ activities,” Van Dyke said. “Next year, we might use the whole street [for the adult Oktoberfest festivities] but make the Greenfield Rehab and Nursing Center parking lot the [area for the] kids’ activities.”
Van Dyke’s goals for next year include getting a physical stage, so everyone will be able to see the band and events like the Cream Puff Eating Contest. She also plans to add a stein-holding contest, where contestants would hold a stein filled with water for as long as they could.
To stay up-to-date on G3’s events, like its Facebook page at facebook.com/G3Greenfield.
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 927-402-2570.