BY RUTH RICE
October will be celebrated when the second annual Windber Oktoberfest is held from noon to 11:30 p.m. Saturday at Windber Recreation Park, Route 160, Windber.
Because last year’s event brought a positive response, Windber Volunteer Fire Company and Windber Area Municipal Authority decided to do it again, said Vicki Hiteshew, a member of the municipal authority.
“Last year went extremely well,” Hiteshew said.
“We had more than 50 entries from all over. We knew that day we would do it again.”
There were more than 50 entries in the home-brewing contest last year, and home brewers will have a chance to concoct their own creations once again.
Winners will be announced at the event, and samples will be available to taste.
Geoff Shank, a member of the fire company known as the brewing guy, is in charge of acquiring craft beers, as well as domestic brews, for the event.
There will be a total of 14 beers, 11 on tap and three in bottles.
Featured beers include Southern Tier, Pumking, Tumbler Autumn Brew Ale by Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams Oktoberfest and Yuengling Oktoberfest.
“We had brewing demonstrations last year, and people saw it was easier than they thought,” Shank said.
“This year with the samplings, they can try them and find out they’re not harsh or a bad beer.”
Hiteshew said some of the craft beers will be included during happy hour when participants can purchase a commemorative mug for $15.
Beers will be available outside from two beer trailers, dispensed by fire company volunteers.
Hiteshew cautioned that armbands certifying a person is age 21 or older will be necessary to be served.
C.W. Beckley was appointed recreation director for the park and Windber Community Building at the end of July.
Beckley, who also is a member of the fire company, spent last year serving beer and working on cleanup detail for the first Oktoberfest.
This year, he will have added duties since he deals with keeping the park in running order in his new position.
“When you look at the park, it’s used primarily from May to August,” Beckley said.
“It’s a diamond in the rough, and we need to start to expand to make it all year-round. With Oktoberfest and the upcoming wine tasting, we’re pushing our way to full time.”
Buoyed by the success of Oktoberfest, the fire company and municipal authority plan to launch a wine tasting event at the park on May 18.
“We will be setting money aside to plan for the next Oktoberfest and the first wine tasting,” Hiteshew said.
Saturday’s musical entertainment will feature DJ Hammer, Johnstown Button Box, Tree and YUM.
There will be music in the ballroom all day, with daytime hours focusing on family and the evening geared toward bands.
There will be authentic German food as well as more traditional fare.
An expanded children’s area will feature a bouncy, games and face painting.
Hayrides will benefit Windber Hospice.
“The children’s area and hayrides will be located toward the playground,” Beckley said.
“That will make it easy to be in one spot.”
Proceeds will go toward services and equipment for the fire company, pool upkeep for the park and expanded classes for the community building.
The municipal authority operates recreation for the borough, maintaining the park and community building and the recreation programs.
What: Second annual Windber Oktoberfest.
When: Noon to 11:30 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Windber Recreation Park, Route 160, Windber.
Information: Windber Oktoberfest has a Facebook page.
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