GLOVERSVILLE - On Saturday, the Concordia Club will once again celebrate German traditions with Oktoberfest.
The event will take place rain or shine and feature live German music, food and beer. Oktoberfest will cost $5 per person for admission and will include free parking. Children age 15 and younger will be able to attend for free.
The German cultural celebration will be open to the public at the club, located off of West Fulton Street Extension. The celebration will start at 10 a.m. and finish around 10 p.m.
"It's going to be an event for the whole family," club Entertainment Chairman Russel Dettenrieder said. "It's a fall celebration and the beginning of the new brew season. In the German community, it is a big deal. What we do is on a smaller scale than the actual Oktoberfest, but it is going to be a good time."
The event will start with a 5K event where people interested can pre-register on the website - www.oktoberfestinthewoods.com - and registration will begin at 9 a.m. under the pavilion. The cost to take part in the 5K will be $20, which includes the admission fee as well as a gift bag for participating. The race starts at 10 a.m.
Also, starting at 9 a.m., there will be a shooting contest called "The Schutzenfest" held at the Pine Tree Rifle club, located just down the road from the Concordia.
The awards and prizes for both events will be given during the day.
The Concordia Club, which has more than 500 members, donates regularly to a variety of community programs. The club, first founded in 1889, used to have a successful gymnastics team and chorus, and it served as the primary meeting place for immigrants from Germany when they arrived in the community.
The original Oktoberfest was proposed to the Executive Board in 1979 by Gloversville resident Guy Borgolini. It was his vision to begin the tradition of a true German Oktoberfest in the city for years to come.
For the next three years, Borgolini and other Concordia members held the event in tents during the fall season before deciding to take a year off to build the pavilion, which holds 1,200 people.
The pavilion was erected by members who volunteered their time. Concordia volunteers were able to finish the project in time for the 1983 Oktoberfest.
However, interest in ethnic festivals began to dwindle over the years, and the club decided to stop hosting Oktoberfest in the late 1990s.
Last year, however, the club revived the annual festival.
Dettenrieder said last year's Oktoberfest was a great success with more than 800 people attending despite the rainy weather.
"We had thought if we got 300 or 400 that would be good, but we doubled our expectations, which was excellent," Dettenrieder said. "The weather was a little against us that day too, but everything worked out just fine. Hopefully, we can have the same turnout this year."
For more information about the Oktoberfest, call the Concordia Club at 725-4813.