Event set for Saturday at PCC
Authentic German food, music, dancing and more await visitors during Fort Leonard Wood’s annual Oktoberfest celebration, scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday on the back patio at Pershing Community Center.
“We’ve held it there the last several years, and it works really well,” said LoraLee Neubeck, special events coordinator with the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Installation Wide Events Office.
The event, which is free and open to the public, is designed to be family friendly and will feature a Kinderplatz — or children’s playground, with several bounce houses available. Children’s activities and contests are also scheduled from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
The celebration will begin at 4 p.m. with the traditional tapping of the keg by Maj. Gen. Donna Martin, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, and Command Sgt. Maj. James Breckinridge, MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood command sergeant major.
The 399th Army Band will perform a variety of traditional German-style music from 4 to 6 p.m.
German food, beer and other beverages will be available for purchase throughout the event, and visitors can take part in a number of games and contests, all of which are free to enter. A newer contest making a return this year is a competition to see who shows in the best dirndl and lederhosen.
“We’ll have a best-dressed competition. It’s a crowd favorite, meaning that the crowd votes for the winner,” Neubeck said. “We’ll also do a barrel relay, a barrel toss and a straight-arm stein-holding contest.”
Oktoberfest celebrations date back to a German royal wedding held in 1810, when Crown Prince Ludwig (who later became King Ludwig I of Bavaria) was wedded to Princess Therese von SachsenHildburghausen near Munich. Their wedding celebration was so huge and popular that the party took place again the following year, prompting the start of the traditional German celebration that has become world famous. As immigrants from Germany came to North America, smaller versions of Oktoberfest sprouted up in thousands of communities across the country.
For more information, call the Installation Wide Events Office at 573.596.6913 or visit the event page at https://leonardwood.army mwr.com.