Oktoberfest set to kick off homecoming weekend

Volga German Society Oktoberfest 2014 will be held at Frontier Park on Oct. 10 at 9 a.m.

The opening ceremonies and tapping of the first keg will start at 11:30 a.m.

According to Janel Moore, representative of the Volga German Society, a new tradition will be introduced this year.

“When…it is announced that it (the keg) is opened, we will ring the big bell,” Moore said. “And then the other bells will follow suit.”

In previous years, it was difficult for Oktoberfest participants to hear the tapping of the keg, so a bell will ring to signal when the keg is tapped.

The keg tapping will not be the only time bells will be used.

Each booth at Oktoberfest will receive a hand bell to ring at the opening and closing of Oktoberfest, and the Ellis County Historical Society will sell bells to participants.

Many of the events participants can expect to enjoy are musical performances.

The Official Polka Band of Oktoberfest, Joe Dolezal and Galen Schmidtberger will entertain the crowd at 10:30 a.m. There will also be side acts and impersonators in between performances on stage.

Frankie Werth, award winning tribute artist, will perform from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. He is a 2014 Ultimate Contestant of the top 21 Elvis Tribute Artists in the World, representing Las Vegas, Nev.

“He puts on a good show,” Moore said.

Another band that will be present is Paramount, who will perform from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

Vendors with food, drinks, and novelties are able to start selling items at 9 a.m.

The Ellis County Historical Society will present demonstrators at Oktoberfest such as Gary Bott, who will play the accordion and talk about German songs and polkas that originated from Russia.

Other demonstrations will be soap making, saddle making and goat milking.

Along with the demonstrations, The American Historical Society of Germans from Russia will show movies about German culture throughout Oktoberfest.

On the south side of Oktoberfest, miniature horse rides, a petting zoo and draft horse wagon rides will be available.

The Fort Hays State University athletes will also conduct activities for participants.

The Volga German Society is expecting about 56 to 66 booths at Oktoberfest this year, according to Moore.

For more information about Oktoberfest, click here.

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