With three live bands, an arts and crafts show and, of course, plenty of beer and food, the McHenry Sunrise Rotary Club’s sixth annual Community Oktoberfest is sure to be a good time.
Add to that games for grown-ups (think beer-stein-holding contest) and for kids (similar, but featuring root beer), as well as 50-50 raffles and even a costume contest, and you’ve got some memories in the making.
Plus, it’s all for a great cause. The club uses proceeds from the event toward its Sunrise Secret Santa program, which provides thousands of toys to hundreds of area families at Christmas time. Event proceeds also fund Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, Advanced Placement Testing scholarships, three $1,000 vocational school scholarships and more, said Mike Lehman, president elect of the McHenry Sunrise Rotary and a member of the Oktoberfest Committee.
“Our charitable giving is child-centered. Everything comes down to the kids,” Lehman said, noting last year’s event netted roughly $14,000. “We want to help kids locally.”
The event takes place from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at Petersen Park, 4300 Petersen Park Road, McHenry. Admission to Oktoberfest is $5 at the gate, and includes music from Die Musikmeisters, Sugar Highway and Infinity. Pre-sale tickets are available for four for $15 until Sept. 19 at rotary-oktoberfest.com. Children 12 and younger are admitted free.
A raffle for a pair of center-ice suite Blackhawks tickets also will take place. Tickets are $10 each or six for $50 and can be purchased in advance at rotary-oktoberfest.com, or at the event. Purchasers need not be present to win. The winning ticket will be drawn at the Sept. 21 event.
The event will take place rain or shine. The arts and crafts portion will feature more than 50 vendors and goes from noon to 6 p.m. McDago’s, D.C. Cobb’s McHenry, Kiera Confections, Old Town Pizza of McHenry and Stucky’s Bar and Grille of Johnsburg will serve a variety of foods. Offerings will include Jagerschnitzel, German meatballs, burgers, hot dogs, Bavarian pretzels, roasted corn, bacon ribs, pork rings, onion rings, cheese curds, tater tots, fries, cupcakes, cookies, apple struedel and ice cream.
Fest-goers with flair will want to pull out their favorite dirndl dress or pair of lederhosen, as at least one lucky costume contestant will go home with a $25 restaurant gift card, Lehman said.
“Community Oktoberfest is a terrific time in a gorgeous setting,” Lehman said. “It always attracts fun folks — and there’s a mission behind the merriment. By supporting our youth, we’re building a better community.
“We hope to see lots of new faces this year along with our regular crowd.”