Munich tapped the first barrel of beer for their Oktoberfest last weekend, and South Lake Tahoe prepares to follow suit this Thursday with the Kiwanis Club of Tahoe Sierra's 10th annual SeptOberfest at MontBleu Resort Casino and Spa.
SeptOberfest won't draw the huge crowds that the famous German festival attracts, but it will provide some authentic German entertainment and food according to longtime Kiwanis Club member Tom Millham.
There will be a beer stein-holding contest, maidens costumed in dirndls and braids, a silent auction and an envelope opportunity raffle, SeptOberfest's version of scratch lottery with prizes and coupons enclosed in envelopes that are available for purchase.
And for the $35 entry fee, you can eat all the wienerschnitzel, sauerkraut, bratwursts and potato pancakes your lederhosen will allow. And let's not forget the bottomless wine and beer tasting.
"We know that Oktoberfest goes on all the time in Camp Rich, but ours is geared more toward adults. And we're a fundraiser that's grown each year," current Tahoe Sierra Kiwanis Club President Marie Foster said.
Tahoe's event started in 2003 as a way to raise money for various organizations in the basin. Groups that have received money in the past include Tahoe Youth and Family Services, Tahoe Sports Connection, the Barton Foundation, CASA and many more. The one thing most of the organizations have in common - they serve children in the basin.
"The motto of the Kiwanis Club is to serve the children of the world, one child at a time," Millham said.
The 33-member Tahoe club is part of Kiwanis International, a global volunteer organization. The basin's club, which was started 11 years ago, usually raises about $15,000 a year through the SeptOberfest fundraiser, Millham said.