ALTON - The St. Mary's Chuch Annual Oktoberfest will be back to full scale this year on the weekend of October 7-9. A spokesperson Carolyn Simansky, a spokesperson for Oktoberfest, said “all activities are back to normal this year” for the highly regarded event.
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The Annual St. Mary’s Oktoberfest celebrates the parish’s German heritage and this year the 164th anniversary of the congregation. The Oktoberfest is held on the grounds of St. Mary’s Church at the corner of Henry Street and East 3rd Street, Alton. The event is open to the public and free of charge.
Funds raised from the event benefit both St. Mary’s Church and the school. It is one of the parish’s largest fundraisers of the year.
Simanksy pointed out some of the new or special changes for this year: “Join us for a festive, 1-mile fun run at 5:30 p.m. Friday, October 7, to kick off the start of Oktoberfest 2022. There will be finisher swag (a stein) for the top two male and female winners and a costume contest with the top two costumes. Cross the finish line and receive a complimentary beer or soda. Register by October 2 to guarantee a commemorative t-shirt."
At 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, the annual keg tapping is set at St. Mary’s on the main stage of the parish grounds. Free beer will be served from the first keg until it runs dry. All Oktoberfest food is served and all activities are open on Saturday. The Beer Garten, Wine & Margarita Tent are each open on Saturday and Sunday. A Children’s Fun Area includes games and inflatables (and a balloon artist on Saturday and Sunday. The balloon artist will be on the grounds from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Simansky encouraged people to try the great German-themed food and All-American stand-by.
“Make sure you ask for our German Skillet Meals,” she said.
“Balloon artist Spunky Beans will be on the grounds from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday. Adult Gaming is also returning. New food items for 2022 are doughnuts, snow cones, and pork rinds.”
Simansky pointed out the $10,000 SWEEPSTAKES plus 9 other monetary prizes and said anyone can buy online at http://STMARYOKTFEST.givesmart.com, or phone orders will be accepted with a credit card at 618-465-4284. Also, tickets will be for sale onsite at the event. The drawing will be at 8 p.m. Sunday, October 9, in the main tent. Participants need not be present to win; winners will be contacted.
The Oktoberfest special anniversary Mass schedule is as follows:
Saturday: Vigil Mass of Sunday at 5:15 p.m., in the church
Sunday: 6:30 a.m. and 8 a.m., in the church and at 11 a.m. large outdoor anniversary “Mass in the Grass” at Garfield/Barth Park, 3rd and Langdon.
Simansky is enthused about the entertainment that will take place on two stages. She said the Oktoberfest favorites are back on stage for this year.
Live Entertainment (on two stages)
The Glendale Riders, classic and new country and southern rock (Friday, 7-11 p.m.)
St. Louis Czech Express, German/Polka Music (Saturday, 1-4 p.m.)
Dixie Dudes, Dixieland music (1-4 p.m.)
Lady Luck, classic rock, new age rock, and country (Saturday, 7-11 p.m.)
Big Shake Daddies, Rock & Soul, and Rhythm & Blues (Sunday, 12:30-4:00 p.m.)
St. Louis Czech Express, German/Polka Music (Sunday, 12:30-4:00 p.m.)
Back in the Saddle Band, old and new country, Southern rock (Sunday, 5:30-9 p.m.)
Live Auction Returns
“Please join us at 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 9 under the tent on 3rd Street for our live auction,” Simansky said. “We will have our high-end items available here. Get ready for a rip-roaring good time as you enjoy some German food and beverages while out-bidding your friends and family on your favorite items!”
Online Silent Auction – items available for viewing onsite in Suddes Hall – Bidding goes live online at noon on Saturday and closes at 4 p.m. on Sunday. See our website for details to bid.
Live Basket Raffles in Suddes Hall gym will run from 1 p.m. Saturday until 4 p.m. Sunday.
$10,000 Sweepstakes tickets for sale on-site, drawing at 8 p.m. Sunday in the main tent – need not be present to win
Driving directions, up-to-date entertainment and event schedules, and volunteer and sponsorship information are available at the website www.stmarysoktoberfest.com and parish website www.stmarysalton.com.