Columbus society serves up bratwurst, polka music

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Airdrie residents are encouraged to dust off their dirndls and lederhosen to celebrate German culture for an evening at the Town and Country Centre Oct. 14.

The Airdrie Columbus Society is hosting its first Oktoberfest celebration to raise funds for the Airdrie Food Bank and Airdrie and District Hospice Society. Mike Perri, who sits on the society’s board of directors, said the society is hoping to make it an annual event.

“It would be nice to sell out, but if we don’t – as long as we at least break even in our first year – I think we’ll consider that to be a success and then we’ll hope for better next year,” he said.

The event will kick off at 6 p.m. and will include door prizes, a cash bar and an authentic German meal complete with bratwurst, sauerkraut, potato salad and apple strudel. Freshly baked pretzels will also be sold at the event and a live band will play polka music after 9 p.m.

Perri said the Airdrie Columbus Society is partnering with Thumbprint Craft Beer Market, which will supply beer from a variety of local breweries, including a traditional German beer.

The Airdrie Columbus Society was formed 25 years ago. It managed and operated the Town and Country Centre for 20 years but decided not to renew its contract last year, Perri said.

Running the centre provided the society with its main source of funding, so it needed to find another way to raise funds to donate to charitable organizations, he said.

“We were trying to think of some local community event that we could do…we thought about it and thought that maybe an Oktoberfest would be well received so we’re giving that a try,” he said.

He encourages attendees to wear German clothing and said prizes will be awarded for best costumes.

“We certainly encourage people to dress up the part,” he said. “They’re going to have a good time. They’re going to get to dance to some polka music, they’re going to get to sample some locally brewed beers and have a good German meal.

“And best of all, all the proceeds, as they always do with us, go back into the Airdrie community.”

Tickets are $40 and are available online at airdrieoktoberfest.ca or at Thumbprint Craft Beer Market on Railway Avenue in Airdrie.

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