(10/12/12) A great time was enjoyed by approximately 2,000 people who attended the 6th Annual Black River Area Oktoberfest held at Sand Creek Brewing Company, Saturday, October 6th.
Executive Director of the Black River Area Chamber of Commerce, Barb Brower stated, "The weather wasn't quite as cooperative as in years past, however you never know what October weather will be like." The Black River Area Chamber of Commerce, Sand Creek Brewing Company, the Black River Falls Downtown Association and Burnstad's Market came together once again to create a great event. Craft vendors and food vendors lined Pierce and Third Streets offering a variety of hand-made items and delicious food choices. Children's activities, including a pirate ship bouncer, a rock climbing wall, pumpkin decorating and an arts and crafts area which kept festival goers busy throughout the day. The "Things That Roll" car show entries were on display throughout the day and were from as far away as Osseo, Mauston and Chippewa Falls.
During the "tapping of the golden keg" ceremony, Mayor Ron Danielson had the honors of crowning the new Oktoberfest King and Queen, Lyall and Becky White. Jim Wiesender, co-owner of Sand Creek Brewing Company and Oktoberfest Chairman remarked, "This couple was chosen by the Oktoberfest planning committee for their unsurpassed community service." Oktoberfest hats, personalized embroidered vests and official 2012 Oktoberfest mugs were presented as gifts to the new royalty.
An event of this magnitude takes a great deal of participation. All four sponsoring entities wish to thank the various organizations and individuals who volunteered their time and talents to help make the event a success. Credit goes to: Entertainment -The Black River Falls High School Band, under the direction of band director Paula Hardie began the days' entertainment. Due to the generosity of Burnstad's Market, their sponsorship allowed three more groups to entertain all day and into the evening. Children's Activities – Lori Crawford took charge of the Kids activities and did a remarkable job. Lori stated, "Our local royalty groups including Miss Karner Blue Princess, Miss Black River Falls, Miss Jackson County, Christkindl and Father Christmas deserve a big thank you for their enthusiasm helping with the children." A special thank you goes to Bob Barhyte and his nieces, Jessica Barhyte and Annette Barhyte, for operating Sparky the Fire Dog from the Merrillan Fire Department and Patches and Pumper which was donated by Fort McCoy, delivered by Randy Eddy. Event Volunteers – Car Show chairwoman Charlotte Fleischmann, with help from Dave Mahlum, Tom Krotzman, Max Michaelson and Grady Gutknecht worked throughout the day organizing the show. Aside from the beautiful antiques cars, motorcycles and tractors there was a collection of antique tri-cycles called velocipedes which piqued the crowds interest. Volunteers who worked at other areas during the festival included Traci and Jack Bailey, Amanda Gunn, Tris Harris, Barb Brower, Jim Wiesender, Todd Krueger, Linda and Jim Fischer, Tyler Fischer, Alisha Southwood, Faith Hanson, Chuck Nibbe, Steve Meyer, Dana Iverson, Amy Lien, Ron Danielson, Jon Warmke, Mary Van Gordon, Steve Meurett, Danette Vanauken, Betty Modica, Jon and Angie Sherman, Fred and Denise Stecher, Ray Wagner, Dan Olson, Mike Groth, Jen Amundson, Brooke Hall, Nate Peck, Karen Karash, Brad Rumsey, Rob Bucek, Lon Pikal, Scott Swanson, Dan Golueke, Bill Arndt, Tony Chojnacki and Gary and Lois Corey. Infrastructure – Coop Credit Union donated the use of their generator and with the assistance of Jon Wussow, provided electricity for food vendors. The Black River Falls Parks & Recreation Manager, Steve Peterson coordinated picnic tables for the event. Chief Dave Frederick from the Black River Falls Police Department and Todd Gomer with the Black River Falls Highway Department assisted with road blocks and street closure. Gaier Construction, Scholze Ace Home Center and Partytime Rentals helped prepare the festival site. Event planning and execution was handled by the Black River Area Chamber of Commerce, Sand Creek Brewing, the Black River Falls Downtown Association and the Oktoberfest Committee.
Plans are already underway for the 7th Annual Black River Area Oktoberfest to be held next October. Once again, thank you to everyone who helped make the day a huge success!