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Eat, drink and be merry

St. Albert Rotary Club rolls out Oktoberfest
2109 Oktoberfest - 2018-10-15 05.20.06
Celebrants at the St. Albert Rotary Club's 2018 Oktoberfest hoist a stein for good cheer.

It’s time to tap the barrel and let the beer flow. Last year’s St. Albert Rotary Club’s inaugural Oktoberfest festivities were so well received, the festival is repeated again this year on Saturday, Sept. 21.

And weather won’t be a factor since organizers are hosting the event indoors at Red Willow Place.

“We looked at what events anchor the community and we saw the Farmers Market and the Children’s Festival, and there were certain holidays that were celebrated consistently. We looked at Oktoberfest and noticed no one was doing it, and we realized it was a great opportunity for us to raise funds at a different time of year,” said Mark Dixon, St. Albert Rotary Club president.

Although St. Albert’s Oktoberfest lacks the fame and popularity of the original Munich crowd-puller, all that’s needed to make it a success is highly anticipated beer, lively music and traditional German food. Similar to the burghers of Munich, attendees are invited to eat, drink and be merry.

Rotary has partnered with St. Albert’s Endeavour Brewing and the only beer that will be served comes from the craft beer company. Endeavour is stepping up their selections with four types of keg beer and two types of canned brews.

Caterer FreshGo Food Services is tossing together a Bavarian style menu that includes juicy schnitzel, bratwurst, sauerkraut, brezeln (pretzels), mixed veggies, salads and desserts served as a long-table dinner.

Enjoying a return engagement is the Leduc-based Jordan Rody Band. Although only 25 years old, Rody is an old-timer on the Oktoberfest circuit in both Canada and the United States.

As grandson of Mike Kushneryk, a founder of the Grammy-nominated polka band, The Western Senators, Rody was introduced to the Oktoberfest circuit at an early age.

In fact, Kushneryk gave Rody his first accordion and mentored his grandson’s musical training. Today Rody has stepped into his grandfather’s shoes as an influential member of The Western Senators.

“The accordion is a fun instrument. Without the accordion, I wouldn’t have travelled to the places I did or met the people I have,” Rody said.

Delivering an eclectic mix of tunes, Rody’s foursome hit the stage playing rock, country, polkas and traditional drinking songs such as Roll Out the Barrel.

Expect to hear tunes as varied as Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama, Frankie Yankovic’s Just Because, Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode and Merle Haggard’s Mama Tried.

“We’re prepared to give everyone a good time. We’re not grandpa’s band. We like to play loud and energetic, and we’re ready.”

Tickets are either $65 or $85 and include a traditional German meal. $65 tickets come with a custom Rotary-Oktoberfest 15 oz. stein whereas $85 tickets include a 33 oz. stein. Tickets are available at

Anna Borowiecki

About the Author: Anna Borowiecki

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