Oktoberfest: A tradition in Pierz for nearly 30 years

Get out the lederhosen, dirndls and beer steins, it’s time to celebrate

By Terry Lehrke, News Editor 

Pierz Lions Ken Dahmen, left, and Otto Pelican, rode on the Pierz Lions float during the 2011 Oktoberfest celebration in Pierz. The Pierz Lions Club sponsors the Oktoberfest Fun Run and parade.

In Pierz, the last weekend of August is a special time — it’s a time to celebrate its German heritage with “Oktoberfest.”

Initiated in 1984, the celebration begins with a week-long treasure hunt. Before they head out to scour the city for the Oktoberfest medallion, hunters can find the first clue and other essential information elsewhere in this issue. Daily clues can be found at Farmers and Merchants State Bank, on the Record’s Web site www.mcrecord.com or on the radio, until one lucky person finds the prize, worth $500 in Pierz Bucks.

Whether or not a person searches for the medallion, there is plenty to enjoy during Oktoberfest.

Friday, Horizon Health will again host its “Wacky Hacker Golf Tournament,” at 10 a.m. at the Pierz Golf Course. This fundraiser benefits its Faith in Action program. To register, call 1 (800) 224-6451.

Saturday, Aug. 25, the Pierz Area Coalition sponsors an alcohol-free teen street dance, from 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. in the parking lot of Pioneer Elementary. In case of rain, teens can head into the gym to enjoy the evening.

The celebration gets into full swing Sunday, Aug. 26 with the Pierz Lions Fun Run — two-mile begins at 8 a.m., and 5K at 8:30 a.m. — at the Healy High School in Pierz. Runners can register that morning.

The Pierz Lions Club parade winds its way through the city beginning at 11 a.m., and will feature the 58th Princess Kay of the Milky Way, Pierz’ own Mary Zahurones, as the grand marshal. Also on the parade line-up is the Pierz High School Band, the St. Cloud All-City Marching Band, Kracker Jacks Drumline, clowns, St. Cloud Shrine Go-Karters and more.

After the parade, visitors will head down to the Pierz Park for an afternoon of festivities. Since no parking is allowed down at the park, all afternoon guests can hop on a free shuttle bus from parking locations at Pierz Healy High School, St. Joseph’s Church and Pierz Foods.

No one will go hungry, as grilled brats and sauerkraut will be served by the Pierz Volunteer Fire Department. Other tasty treats available include hot dogs, hamburgers, homemade pie and ice cream, Haluski, kettle corn, shaved ice and mini-doughnuts. Howard Schomer will again serve up his “Gemuese” a German favorite and other groups and organizations will offer picnic fare.

Exhibit favorites at Oktoberfest feature favorites like Ray Boessel Jr., who will exhibit handmade birch bark canoes, Vogel’s Exotic Animals and an antique gas engine display. A petting zoo, camel rides and “Amazing Reptiles,” will keep children enthralled, as will games and free inflatables.

No Oktoberfest celebration would be complete without beer, bingo and music. Henry Stockert and Friends will be back, playing old-time favorites in the beer garden while Social Security Express entertains in the shelter.

Residents and visitors alike are invited to dress up in German costumes to add a unique flavor to the event.

Oktoberfest is only possible due to the efforts by the Pierz Area Commercial Club, Pierz Lions, Pierz Fire Relief Association, Oktoberfest Committee, the city of Pierz and corporate sponsors.