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The event will feature German food and drinks as well as unique events like ax throwing and keg tossing

COURTESY PHOTO - Members of Meridian United Church of Christ are putting on an Oktoberfest event at the Piazza Oct. 5.

Noticing a lack of Oktoberfest celebrations in the Wilsonville area — the church with maybe the deepest German roots of any in Wilsonville decided to start one of its own.

Meridian United Church of Christ will host the inaugural Wilsonville Oktoberfest 4-9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Piazza in Villebois.

The German founders of Meridian Church of Christ — at the time called Frog Pond Church — also are some of the earliest settlers of Wilsonville.

"I do know when it (Wilsonville) was a German settlement some of the German immigrants physically built the chapel that's there and used that as a church for generations," organizer Jared Dyer said.

Today, the church is no longer a German Evangelist Reformist Church but instead a "progressive Christian church," Dyer said. However, according to Dyer, church members thought putting on the event could be a meaningful opportunity.

"One of the main (reasons) was our church wanted to get more involved in the community and connect to our community, both residents and businesses," he said.

The event will include many staples of Oktoberfest events as well as other attractions. Urban German will provide bratwurst, pretzels and potato salad while Paulaner will bring German beer. Also, Killer Burger, Sprinkle of Joy bakery, Two Towns, Vanguard Brewing and 503 Uncorked will contribute more standard food and drink offerings.

Activities include ax throwing, keg tossing demonstrations, stein holding (holding a beer for as long as possible), music and dancing, as well as arts and crafts and face painting for children.

"Normally at Oktoberfests you have strength competitions, and a lot of the strongman competitions you see originated in Germany. This group out of Salem (that is doing the keg tossing demonstrations) reached out to us and asked if they could be a part of it, and we thought it was interesting," Dyer said.

The event also is sponsored by Operation Spartan Flag, which is a workshop for veterans. For Dyer, this facet adds even more meaning to the event.

"I was in the Army, stationed in Germany for three years, and the fact that we are bringing together the German festival party of it, making it accessible for kids and are supporting veterans, to me, it wraps up nicely in a bow," he said.

For more information on the event, visit http://www.wilsonvilleoktoberfest.com/.


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