With the return of cooler temperatures, several Zionsville businesses and organizations are gearing up for fall festivities, and St. Alphonsus Liguori Catholic Church is no exception.
St. Alphonsus will present its 13th annual Pumpkinfest and Oktoberfest from noon to midnight Oct. 7 on the St. Alphonsus parish grounds, 1870 W. Oak St., Zionsville.
“During Lent, our fish fry event has always been successful in the community,” said Patrick Kilway, committee chair for the event. “We were looking for an event to hold in the fall, and Oktoberfest was the perfect fit.”
Kilway said the church wanted to include a German tie because the Germans have regularly celebrated the harvest season. He said the event is a family-focused celebration of fall and the harvest season.
“Many communities hold an Oktoberfest to commemorate the hard work farmers do throughout the year,” Kilway said. “We wanted to participate and encourage our guests to dress in German attire and try German foods.”
A full Oktoberfest menu will be available from noon to 6 p.m. in Parish Hall. Items include soft pretzels, a bratwurst dinner with two sides, a Jager schnitzel dinner with two sides, a currywurst dinner with chips and one side, a hot dog meal with chips and a drink, German chocolate cake and apple strudel. Apple cider, bottled water, soft drinks, Sun King beer and wine will also be available.
Food, drinks and mugs will be available for purchase through a ticket system. Tickets are $1 or 30 for $25.
Pumkinfest activities throughout day include bounce houses, a petting zoo, face painting and more. Children will also have the opportunity to pick a pumpkin for free.
“Our daytime events focus a lot on family-oriented activities,” Kilway said. “We have not had bounce houses since before the COVID-19 pandemic, and we have never had a petting zoo. Children will have the opportunity to pet and feed goats, chickens, ponies and more.”
Admission is free for people 18 and younger. Admissions wristbands are $5 for people 19 and older.
At 5 p.m., a $5 cover will be charged for anyone 21 over when Oktoberfest begins in the biergarten. Families with children are welcome to stay, but nobody under 21 can enter the biergarten.
“Our Oktoberfest used to be for adults only, but with the addition of our biergarten, we can easily distinguish who is under 21,” Kilway said. “We want the event to stay family focused.”
A live polka band, Polkamotion, will play from 7 to 11 p.m. At 10 p.m., there will be a raffle drawing with three cash prize winners. Raffle tickets will be sold throughout the day and are $10 or three for $25.
“Our first-place raffle prize winner will receive $1,000, second place will win $500, and third place will win $250,” Kilway said.
Other events include a yodeling contest and a stein-holding competition for men and women.
“We have done a yodeling competition before, but sometimes people do not have the courage to get up there,” Kilway said. “This is something we would love to do again this year if we can get people to participate.”
The stein-holding competition will have a round for men and a round for women. Contestants have to hold 1 1/2 liters of beer in a stein at shoulder height without spilling or bending their elbows. Winners will receive a cobblestone gift card.
Proceeds from Pumkinfest and Oktoberfest benefit The Caring Center, the Zionsville Food Pantry and the Knights Fund.
“Our Knights Fund is a fund for the church to use throughout the year for urgent requests and is something that the church utilizes in a crisis,” Kilway said.
Not surprisingly, Kilway looks forward to the event.
“The community is what makes this event so successful, and the support from the Town of Zionsville and the residents is tremendous,” Kilway said. “Oktoberfest would not be possible without the support from the community and our sponsors.”
For more, visit zionsvillecatholic.com/oktoberfest.
FALL EVENTS IN ZIONSVILLE
- Oct. 6-7: SullivanMunce Ghost Walk: sullivanmunce.org/ghostwalk-reservations.html
- Oct. 7: Watch Us Farm Fall Festival: townplanner.com/event/685999/
- Oct. 20, 21, 27, 28 & 31: Maplelawn Fright Nights: maplelawnfarmstead.org/events2/
- Oct. 28: whitestown.in.gov/community/parks-and-recreation/events/halloween-trick-or-treat-trail/
- Oct 28: Trick Or Trees: zionsville-in.gov/598/Special-Events
- Oct. 31: Zionsville Trick or Treat Hours: townplanner.com/event/686472/