Library's Oktoberfest a growing success

Attendance at the Carson City Library Foundation's annual Oktoberfest at Mills Park pavilion jumped Saturday compared to years past, said Sally Edwards, director of the library.

This year about 2,000 showed up for beers, Bratwursts and books while just more than 1,000 attended last year.

Edwards watched 45 people dance the funky chicken in front of the stage to live German folk songs. Smoke billowed from barbecues where sausages sizzled while vendors offered Italian charms, hand-crocheted items and sun catchers for sale. Smiling people seated at picnic tables with big beers bobbed heads to the music. Kids ran around with balloon animals.

The fifth-annual Oktoberfest is a joint effort between the Carson City Library Foundation and the Friends of the Library. They are separate entities with a shared goal: raising funds for enhancement of the library and buying materials.

The Friends of the Library raise funds by selling books. They brought almost 4,000 books to sell Saturday, according to the Friends' President Carol McIntyre. Most of the 180 boxes they brought were piled empty between bleachers.

"Books were just flying out of here," said Jan Bachman, manager of the bookstore at the library, Browser's Corner. Hard-cover books were $2 while paperbacks were $1.

Their goal was to raise $3,000 and they did that with no problem, Bachman said.

The event as a whole has raised about $15,000 for the library each year in the past, Edwards said.

"We won't know how much we've raised this year until next week when we've counted it all," she said. "But there's quite a few more people here than last year."

On stage the six members of the Rhine River Stompers played folk songs in shorts and knee socks.

Sid Jarva sang the words to "Lily Marlene" while playing the accordion.

"I got the words for 'Lily Marlene' from a guy named Klaus at a prisoner of war camp in Fort Hood, Texas, back in 1944," he said.

Other groups helping out included The Sausage Factory Co. which provided sausages at a discount, Marlo's Ltd. who provided German white wines such as Franz Reh & Sohn's 2001 Zeller Schwarze Katz and Capital Beverages who offered two for one kegs. On tap were four Oktoberfest specialities: Sam Adams dark Oktoberfest; Widmer Oktoberfest; Beck's Oktoberfest and Widmer Hefeweizen.

"There was no charge for the CO2 or the truck," said Pat Glick. Sierra Place Assisted Living provided hundreds of cups of potato salad.

Volunteers from among the library trustees and board members baked the deserts, including Black Forest cake, apple Kuchen and German chocolate cake.

The event takes a lot of planning, Edwards said.

"The minute this thing is over Glick and her committee will begin work on next year's," she said.

It's worth the effort, said Michael Grimes, who got his T-shirt at the real Oktoberfest last year in Munich, Germany.

"This is a fun time to come out, spend some time with the family and give to the library, ultimately" he said.

He said the music at the Carson Oktoberfest is more authentic than in Munich, where they played mostly Beatles and rock 'n' roll songs.

Do they dance the funky chicken in Munich?

"Actually they do, yes," he said laughing.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment