Father Jim Meyer's excitement is obvious as he speaks about the second annual Holy Cross Catholic Church Oktoberfest celebration he and fellow parishioners are caught up in the thick of planning for this Saturday, Oct. 8, from Noon to 10 p.m. at the parish site, 1420 16th St. E., West Fargo.
"Oktoberfest is the culmination of a lot of planning and hard work which helps bring us together as a parish community to celebrate," said Father Meyer. "It also helps identify us as a parish with an event that is strictly our own."
Fr. Jim has been pastor at Holy Cross Church for what he describes as "three-and-a-half glorious years," and is definitely sold on the parish project and the opportunity for family interaction the get-together presents.
He said the first Oktoberfest "was really great. Last year we had only a small version, but this year we have really expanded the activity to include a 3K fun walk and all other kinds of things taking place for both the kids and the adults."
Here he mentions the minnow races and a tractor pull and the little riding trains for the youngsters, as well as a carving expert who relies on a chainsaw to turn out stump created masterpieces in various designs which this year will also include praying hands which will go to the parish. "All of the aspects will center on fun activities so it should be an awesome opportunity for everyone to attend and have a good time."
Giving credit where credit is due, he praised the parish volunteers for being wonderful to work in bringing this second event to fruition. "We can't do these things without the parishioners. In my eyes, I have some of the greatest people to help and assist. It is always so much easier to lead with holy people by your side. It just helps us to grow. Their passion is what gives me my strength, and for that reason, I am a pastor who is truly blessed."
Needless to say, all the volunteers have been working on a variety of venues culminating in a complete schedule of events, including: The 3K Fun Run/Walk, starting at noon on the south soccer field; a Taco in a Bag lunch served from 12 to 2 p.m.; a Country Store and Jewelry Booth, noon to 7 p.m.; Chain Saw Sculpture Carving from 2 to 6 p.m. in the parking lot by the garage; and passels of games and happenings, including: 'Lucky 7', cupcake walk, minnow race, tattoo room, ring toss, duck pond, tractor pull, I scream for ice cream, and remote car race, all from noon to 4 p.m. .
An evening meal will be served from 5 to 7 p.m. at a cost of $10. A Polka Band Music and Dancing will be set up on the balcony in front of the doorway from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Raffle drawings and Chance Raffle drawings with also be a part of the excitement.
The Country Store/Church Store: will feature ten chance packages including: Breakfast in Bed, featuring gourmet coffee and scone mixes; an Outdoor World Fishing/Golf package, complete with fishing rods and reels, minnow bucket, and golf supplies; Dinner with the 'Padres,' involving Father Meyer and Father Jasinksi, preparing and evening of epicurean gifts; a Kids Palooza, complete with games, candy, movies, popcorn mixed; along with several other unique package opportunities.
The evening meal will feature a varied selection of favorite homemade delicacies including: Knoephla Soup, Paprikausch Soup (Beef, carrots, onions, paprika, dumplings); Baked Beans; Pigs in a Blanket; Sauerkraut; German Potato Salad; Kuchen; and German Chocolate Brownies.
Members of the committee assisting Father Meyer with the event are: Jayne Rieth, Heather Heger, Jamie Steffes, Rosemary and Harvey Heise, Geri Harbeke, Lisa Roeske, and Gerri Dyrdahl.
Father Meyer encourages anyone wishing to come on out to Holy Cross to do so and be a part of the Oktoberfest fun. "If anybody would like to join us for the event that would be just great."