Inaugural Lion’s Head Oktoberfest Hugely Successful

Photo: Rotarians Catherine Henderson (left) and Tim Lang (right) with MP Alex Ruff at the inaugural Oktoberfest at the Rotary Hall in Lion’s Head.
By Joanne Rodgers, Bruce Peninsula Press

The 1st Annual Lion’s Head Oktoberfest Family Fun Day was held on 14 October, 2023 with community members of all ages coming out to experience the inaugural event in Lion’s Head. Organizers say it was a better than expected turnout, and they were pleased to see so many multi-generational families coming out to enjoy the Autumn afternoon and participate in the activities.

The event was a double feature. From noon to 6 p.m. it was an outdoor family friendly event. Starting at 7 p.m. the adult only segment of Oktoberfest was held indoors at the Rotary Hall. 

The family fun afternoon was held in the open space next to the Rotary Hall, with free admission for all. There were kids games sponsored by The Shops at 84 Main and The Community Bottle Drive. A martial arts demonstration performed by students and masters of KT Taekwondo, visiting from Owen Sound, wowed the onlookers. The BBQ tent opened at noon and did a brisk business with the tantalizing food smells tempting the attendees. On the menu were sausages, hot dogs, pigtails and pretzels. Featuring Tagwerk Beer, there was also a selection of other alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks available. Live music featuring local musicians Dan Corcoran, Rod Layman, Marc Tellier and Makenzy Williamson performed throughout the afternoon at the Beer Tent. Four BPDS students volunteered to assist in the activities.

Beginning at 7 p.m., the event moved inside the Rotary Hall. Member of Parliament Alex Ruff and Mayor Milt McIver were on hand for the evening festivities. Mayor McIver opened the event by ‘tapping the keg’. RoadRash, a Collingwood-based band, entertained the event goers until 1 a.m. with classic rock hits from the 70s to the 90s. 

As same as the day time menu – BBQ sausages, pigtails and pretzels were available to feed a hungry crowd. The Bar, tended by Rotarians all night long, featured Tagwerk Beer’s Oktoberfest draught, along with wine, ciders, coolers and soft drinks. Other activities for the night included dancing to DJ music, games including three rounds of the beer stein hold and a 50/50 draw at the end of the night. 

127 tickets were presold for the event. The tickets were $25 which included the collector’s beer stein. The evening event was sold out with 140 persons attending Oktoberfest with its uniquely Lion’s Head flavour. Patrons said they enjoyed the festivities and were pleased to have an evening event to attend on a mid Autumn night.

Rotarian Tim Lang says that Lion’s Head Oktoberfest aimed to create a community-focused event and to raise awareness of the Rotary Hall as a great community space. The Rotary Hall was built in 1898, and is a main event venue in Lion’s Head. Currently there is a Community Needs Assessment being conducted, Lang says to stay tuned for the results of the Assessment due out early in the new year. 

Rotarians, along with the Municipality, are working on a strategic plan for the refurbishment of the Hall. Lang expects there to be short, medium and long term milestones to the refurbishment efforts, including looking into funding possibilities and further fundraising efforts. This Oktoberfest event is a step towards the fundraising efforts since proceeds will go towards the refurbishing needs of the Hall.

Proceeds from the 50/50 draw go towards the Rotary Scholarship Fund.

Read the full Rotary report here.