Committee cancels Minster Oktoberfest

St. Lawrence modifies family festival

MINSTER — The Minster Oktoberfest is the latest victim of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Minster Oktoberfest Board announced — via a press release Friday afternoon — that the 46th annual Minster Oktoberfest will not be held Oct. 2–4, 2020, in the same way it has in the past.

“After much discussion, collaboration with our nearly 50 committee members, gathering feedback from our many partners and meetings with the Auglaize County Health Department, we were not able to figure out a way to hold the event and adhere to all the guidelines set forth by the Ohio Department of Health and the Governor’s office due to Covid-19.” the committee wrote.

“This decision was not made lightly, and we feel it is ultimately in the best interest of the health and well being of our patrons, staff, volunteers, committee members, organizations and the people that live in the great village of Minster. A special thank you goes out to the Auglaize County Health Department, for meeting with us several times to try and work out a way for us to hold the event. We felt it would be a challenge to reasonably adhere to the current mask mandate along with other restrictions, and there is potential for additional restrictions in the weeks to come. In addition to the cost involved with social distancing, the potential for more restrictions creates a situation where the festival might be canceled or even shut down mid-festival.” the release continued.

Many people think of the Minster Oktoberfest as just a beer and food festival. However, it is possibly the biggest or only fundraiser for the 29 non-profit organizations that participate every year. As much as the committee wants to continue with the social part of the festival, they also need to look at the financial impacts of having low attendance, the added expenses of adhering to additional restrictions, or the possibility that the event gets halted just days prior.

“The Minster Oktoberfest as we traditionally love will not be happening this year,” the committee said. “We are however, making plans to honor this year’s Grand Marshal as well as the button design winner. We are trying to create plans to safely hold our Lil Miss Oktoberfest and Miss Oktoberfest contests, so be on the lookout for those registrations. When students go back to school, we still plan to inject the Oktoberfest spirit by continuing with our coloring contest. And because we are counting this as an official Oktoberfest year, we are planning to have event collectibles, such as buttons, mugs and pins available to purchase. So the spirit of the Minster Oktoberfest will still be felt and celebrated, it will just be different in how we do it.

“The people of Minster feel the Oktoberfest is not just an event. It’s a feeling, a spirit, a happy mood combined with warmth and friendship of the community, our gemutlichkeit.”

While the social portion of the Oktoberfest will not be held, the committee is encouraging everyone to celebrate the community, friendships and German heritage on a daily basis.

“And when Oct. 2–4 comes up on the calendar, we encourage everyone to celebrate with us by enjoying a bratwurst or mettwurst sipping a beverage and dancing to at least one German song that weekend. We vow next year to make the 47th Minster Oktoberfest bigger and better,” said the committee. “We look forward to seeing you all at Minster Oktoberfest & Centennial Park in 2021.”

St. Lawrence Family Festival

RHINE — The annual St. Lawrence Family Festival has also announced changed to its events on its Facebook page. The festival is planned for Aug. 8 at St. Lawrence Church.

An outdoor Mass to celebrate the Feast of St. Lawrence is planned for 3:30 p.m. Parking is available along Botkins Road and in the grass area. Everyone attending should bring your own lawn chair.

The drive-thru dinner will begin at 4:30 p.m. All traffic will enter on Reinke-Schipper Road and exit onto Botkins Road. Participants are asked to follow directions from the traffic control crew.

Someone will be available to collect raffle tickets and will have more available for purchase. Blue raffle tickets for more than $42,000 in prizes are $1 each or six for $5. The Cabela raffle tickets are $10 each or three for $25 for a chance to win five $500 gift cards.

Dinner options include pulled pork sandwiches, hamburgers and cheeseburgers. All meals include coleslaw, applesauce and a dessert. The cost of the meal is #10.

The Shelby County Dairy Boosters will be taking orders for ice cream. All items are carry out only. Ice cream will be $1 for one scoop; $2 for two scoops; and $3 for three scoops.

The raffle drawing will be shown live on the Petersburg Parishes Facebook page at 8 p.m.

St. Lawrence modifies family festival