By Terry Lehrke, News Editor
He’s cute, colorful and happy — and he’s worth $500 in Pierz Bucks for the lucky person who finds him on the specially-marked 2013 Oktoberfest Medallion.
The search begins Sunday, Aug. 18, and heralds the start of the city’s celebration of its German heritage with the 29th annual “Oktoberfest.”
The first clue is as follows:
Oktoberfest is here again!
The search begins at last.
As you walk around Pierz this week,
I hope you have a blast.
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 need to know they can find daily clues at Farmers and Merchants State Bank, on the Record’s website www.mcrecord.com or by listening to the radio. The search continues until one lucky person finds the prize, worth $500 in Pierz Bucks.
For the past 12 years, Horizon Health has kicked off the weekend the Friday before Oktoberfest, with the “Wacky Hacker” golf tournament. This year, golfers are asked to dress in “Back to the ‘50s” attire. Registration begins at 9 a.m. at the Pierz Golf Course, with a shotgun start at 10 a.m. The now famous “Duffer Drop” is set for 4:30 p.m. A banquet follows the tourney, with all proceeds going to benefit Horizon Health’s Faith in Action program.
Saturday, Aug. 24, the Pierz Area Coalition will sponsor an alcohol-free “EPIC” teen street dance, with music by DJ Andy Taylor, 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. 25 with the Pierz Lions Fun Run. The two-mile begins at 8 a.m., and 5K at 8:30 a.m. at 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. Grand Marshals Harold Meyer and Larry Schmidtbauer will lead the parade, which will feature the Pierz High School Band, the St. Cloud All-City Marching Band, clowns, St. Cloud Shrine Go-Karters and many floats.
After the parade, an afternoon of fun starts at the Pierz Park. Although no parking is allowed down at the park, guests can hop on a free shuttle bus from parking locations at Pierz Healy High School, St. Joseph’s Church and Pierz Foods.
At the park, those wearing an Oktoberfest button can win prizes, including $50 Pierz Bucks every half hour, with a grand prize drawing at 4:30 p.m.
Vogel’s exotic animals will be on hand, and kids can enjoy a petting zoo, camel rides, games, water wars and play on inflatables. Other activities include an antique gas engine display, bingo, live music and Ray Boessel Jr. will be on hand with his birch bark canoes.
The Pierz Volunteer Fire Department will grill brats and sauerkraut amidst other food and beverage stands, including Howard Schomer’s “Gemüse,” a German favorite, world famous kettle corn and shaved ice, mini doughnuts and more.
Residents and visitors alike are encouraged to dress up in German costumes to add a unique flavor to the event.
Oktoberfest is possible through the efforts of the Pierz Area Commercial Club, Pierz Lions, Pierz Fire Relief Association, Oktoberfest Committee, the city of Pierz and corporate sponsors.
Medallion hunt rules
As Oktoberfest treasure seekers begin their quest to claim fortune and fame as this year’s winner of the Pierz Oktoberfest medallion hunt, there are a few rules to remember.
The specially-marked 2013 yellow Oktoberfest button is hidden on public property somewhere in the city limits of Pierz. It is not hidden higher than a person can reach, near a river, or on the Pierz Municipal Golf Course, so searchers need not climb, wade or go near the course.
In order to claim the prize, the successful hunter must have a 2013 Oktoberfest button, available for sale at Pierz area businesses.
Anyone who thinks they have found the special button must turn it in at Hartmann’s Store in Pierz, or call (320) 468-2506.
If the treasure isn’t found by 4 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 24, a drawing will be held Sunday afternoon, Aug. 25 at Pierz Park. The drawing will include all button holders. Previous winners cannot win again.
Each day, a new clue will be released until someone finds the treasure. Clues will be available at Farmers and Merchants State Bank, Pierz, on the Record’s website, www.mcrecord.com and on Little Falls radio stations, but not before 6 a.m.