Categories: Entertainment

Raise a stein for Oktoberfest

September is here and it’s time to shift from summer’s wonderful outdoor pleasures. The Burg of Morinville is embracing autumn’s crisp weather by celebrating the much-anticipated Oktoberfest on Saturday, Oct. 1.

This year the fourth annual festival, celebrating the town’s deeply entrenched German heritage, is also aligned with Alberta Culture Days taking place Oct. 1 and 2 at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre.

“A lot of what’s made this festival so successful in past years is that it’s family-friendly, accessible to all and it’s free,” said co-ordinator Lori Pratt.

Organizers are taking a casual approach this year organizing the festival into two parts.

The ethnic celebration gets the ball rolling along the cultural centre’s sidewalk from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Two of the main featured attractions are the Edmonton Vintage Volkswagen Association’s car show and the Alberta Dachshund Rescue Association’s exhibit and dog visit.

Young children can burn off energy at the outdoor game and activity centre while parents and beer geeks are invited to quaff the special malted beverages at the beer gardens.

It is accordionist Dianne Tebby’s job to create the boisterous, upbeat Oktoberfest vibe. By all accounts, the multi-instrumentalist is the perfect person for the job.

Tebby, a 1989 graduate of the University of Alberta music program majoring in violin, is active in different classical orchestras and folk groups including Vinok Worldance.

And what’s a party without food? Sturgeon County’s Flair Catering food truck drops by with savoury German sausage, pulled pork and hot slaw.

Happily, the celebrations move to an indoor cabaret setting at 6:30 p.m. with a catered dinner and entertainment by The Emeralds Show and Dance Band. They are most famously known for the oompah-pah song Bird Dance.

“The Emeralds aren’t strictly a German band, but they do have German tunes and we wanted to co-ordinate with them for a long time, but dates were not aligning. They are a great dance band,” Pratt said, noting the centre’s dance floor is quite large.

As for the family oriented catered dinner, piping hot German meatballs, different salads and desserts are planned for the hearty menu.

“The evening portion is free as well, but it is a ticketed event. We have to know how many are coming because of the food.”

To order free tickets call 780-939-7839.

Anna Borowiecki: Anna Borowiecki joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2000. She reports on local people and events in the arts, entertainment and food industry. She also writes general news and features.