The Rotary Club’s Octoberfest is returning to the Cowichan Valley tomorrow. It’ll be the third time the organization has run the event in the last five years.
Rotary Club public image person Nora Dowsett says the event began in hopes to reach a new type of audience with their events.
“We wanted something that drew a different crowd, because we were always dipping into the same pockets,” says Dowsett with a chuckle. “Nobody else was doing an Oktoberfest so we thought, ‘Well, we’ll do an Oktoberfest.’ And it went really, really well.”
The funds from this year’s event will go towards the Rotary Club’s various youth programs – with a focus on their Pregnancy Food Connection which provides healthy food options to young, low-income pregnant moms.
Dowsett says her favourite part of the event is the music and dancing. This year’s musical guest is The Doctors of Rock ‘n’ Roll, who will playing some traditional German songs – in the spirit of the event – and then some rock and dance music later on in the evening. There will be some other shenanigans taking place as well.
“We’ve got prizes for best-dressed male, female and couple, so people will be dressed up in their dirndls and lederhosen,” she says.
Food is also a fixture of the celebration and they will be serving all of the Oktoberfest classics, like bratwurst, sauerkraut, potato salad, and beer.
The event starts at 6 pm at the Cowichan Exhibition Grounds. Tickets are $40, which will get you admission, dinner, and your first drink. You can buy your ticket online or at the gate.
Dowsett also says the event should spread some awareness of their club, and support their hope to add some new members. She says anyone is welcome.
“It’s not ‘our daddy’s’ Rotary Club anymore,” says Dowsett. “Basically we want people who want to do good in the community. We have a pretty large club […] so people can choose what area of focus they want to participate in more.”
She listed spring, fall, and garden clean-ups, fundraisers, and youth projects as an idea of activities that club members can get involved with.
“We like people to attend as many meetings as they can – they are held weekly,” says Dowsett. “We are a pretty social club and we have fun together.”