Oktoberfest 'tradition' continues this Saturday at St. Paul's Church

Sunday, September 27, 2015

While it may only be the second annual Oktoberfest this Saturday at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Greencastle, organizers are already calling it "an immediate tradition."

The success of the inaugural Knights of Columbus-sponsored event last fall at St. Paul's has been the catalyst for plans to develop the fundraiser into more than a church get-together when it unfolds Saturday, Oct. 3 from 4-11 p.m. at 202 E. Washington St.

"Even though it's a church event perse, it's a big community event that figures to grow. That's the long-term goal," Oktoberfest Committee Chairman Matt Welker told the Banner Graphic.

The idea is to bring the community and the parish together, Welker said, stressing that it is open to the public and DePauw University faculty students and staff have been encouraged to attend.

Proceeds are being shared with local organizations and charities and parish groups.

For college students or families that have moved away, he said, it serves as "a homecoming of sorts."

"It's like the fair," Welker said, "just on a different level."

And like the fair, a lot of the activity is built around food and fun.

Bingo will be played inside the church, while outside a bounce house, face painting and kids' games will be available 4-8 p.m.

Virtually all other activities will go all day long, while a DJ will play music 7-11 p.m. Free babysitting will be provided 8-11 p.m.

Available food will include meats purchased by neighboring Myers' Market, including ribeye sandwiches, brats, hamburgers, porkburgers and homemade corndogs with desserts and more provided by the St. Paul ladies' guild.

A raffle will feature such prizes as Indiana University basketball tickets, Purdue and Notre Dame football tickets, gift certificates, cash and more. Pulltabs also will be available for purchase.

A beer garden will feature seven craft beers (three on tap and two in cans) from Three Pints Brewing Co., Plainfield. Standard domestic beers will be on sale as well, but Welker said last year's event suggested "quite a demand for craft beers."

Also, Hopwood Cellars, a Zionsville winery operated by a parishioner's son, will be serving wines.

Organizers suggest that people might want to bring lawn chairs to assure comfortable seating during the event.

Community charities and parish groups supported by the local Knights of Columbus include Boy Scouts of America, Putnam County Food Pantry, St. Paul's Blood Drive, Beyond Homeless, Special Olympics, Parish Youth, Hope's Way and Care Net Pregnancy Center.

The order of the Knights of Columbus was founded by Father Michael J. McGivney in 1882 in New Haven, Conn.

The four main principles of the order have always been charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism.

The local council was formed in 1977 by Father Simon Petit LaLumiere, pastor of St. Paul The Apostle Catholic Church in Greencastle.

Believing that Oktoberfest is here to stay as an autumn staple at St. Paul's, Welker advised that the decision has been made to establish a permanent date for the event as the first Saturday of October.

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