By GREG RUSSELL, Register Staff Writer
Gainesville Daily Register
LINDSAY — Today’s 40th annual Oktoberfest represents tradition combined with a mission to sustain a Lindsay landmark.
A cookout meal begins at 11 a.m. in Lindsay Park with a “bring your own beer” option.
The day will include a volleyball tournament, horseshoe games, activities for kids, a live performance by Willie Kick-It at 3 p.m. and a Lindsay Volunteer Fire Department-hosted auction at 5:30 p.m. A special raffle begins at 8:30 p.m. Admission is free, but meal tickets are $8 and raffle tickets are $5.
And the costs all serve a pointed purpose. Knights of Columbus Grand Knight Jerry Metzler said today’s target profit of $15,000 will go to the internal renovation of the city’s Conrad Hall.
“The building needs lots of fresh paint and repaired ceilings — just a general fix-up,” he said Friday. “No big renovation or anything; it’s just to take care of it.”
But the target amount, Metzler added, is typically what his Knights of Columbus organization members use for general funds, and 2011 Oktoberfest proceeds served that purpose.
This time around, all the money will go into purchasing upgrade materials.
“I guess we’re going to live a little more frugally this year,” he said.
Annual Oktoberfest activities began in 1972, following a kickoff by the Lindsay Jaycees, who later disbanded.
The Knights of Columbus became the event’s sponsor, and as a fundraiser, the goal has varied from year to year.
One trademark of the event is the “Life Chain,” an afternoon gathering of pro-life advocates who stand alongside Highway 82 and hold signs and banners in protest to abortion.
Metzler explained Oktoberfest and the Life Chain are regularly planned to occur during the same weekend in October but are actually separate events.
The operative of Oktoberfest on this special anniversary, he said, is to raise the money needed to restore Conrad Hall.
“We wanted to have a special purpose for the funds,” Metzler said. “And with the project that we’re doing out there, we’ll always remember that we did it with the proceeds from the 40th Oktoberfest.”