Oktoberfest trivia and Animal Blessings

Just a bit of trivia for those who are new to the community, Oktoberfest began as an arts and crafts fair with the Gold Wings motorcycle group the original sponsors in the early 1970’s according to the Late Lyman Radcliff.

Through the years Oktoberfest has been held at Hubbard Park, the former swimming pool now Teen Center, Community Center and mall area on Alden Street. Local crafters have gathered throughout the years to have a chance to sell their handmade articles.

At some point in the later 1990’s the Chamber took over the Saturday festivities. At the same time Virgil Thompson was sponsoring a very successful Car Show and as a Chamber Board member he suggested that the two events combine as one weekend activity and the rest is history.

The theme ‘A Blast from the Past’ was suggested by Dennis Sartor when he took over in 2006.

New to Oktoberfest this year is ‘The Blessing of the Animals’. Every year around the nation, pets are blessed on Oct. 4, which is St. Francis of Assisi Day.

Since this special day is the same week as Oktoberfest, the Blessings will take place on Sat., Oct 6 at the kiosk by the caboose in the Railway Park. St. Francis was known for the love of animals of all types. His statue appears in many gardens.

According to Kevin Mackin, a Franciscan Friar, “Every creature is important; the love we give to a pet and receive from a pet can draw us more deeply into a larger circle of love.”

This is a non-denominational ceremony; all animals must be on a leash or in an animal carrier. The Pinal County Animal Control Unit will be on hand to assist. By next week, we will know if they will be bringing animals that can be adopted for a small fee.

This event is not limited to children and their pets, adults are welcome to bring their pets also between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., Sat., Oct 6.

Food and merchandise booths will be in the mall area of Alden Street on Friday and Saturday with games and dance party for the children on Saturday. Get your favorite salsa ready for judging on Saturday.

After the Car Show gear your appetite for the Hot Dog Eating contest which ends the Oktoberfest activities.

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