Kiester to hold Oktoberfest and Homecoming

KIESTER — The town of Kiester will be hopping with polka music, German food and a whole lot of fall fun at the 3rd annual Homecoming and fundraiser event this Saturday.

The event, centered around an Oktoberfest theme, will include activities for all ages and food for all tastes.

“We just want to invite everybody to it. It’s good food, music and fun,” said Dena Trytten, one of the event’s organizers. “And, it’s supposed to be a lovely day.”

She hopes everyone is ready to dance to a variety of pre-recorded polka music, with the live accordion accompaniment of Clarence Hevner, of Albert Lea.

A cribbage tournament will provide a healthy dose of competition and a chance to visit among adults, as well.

Children will enjoy the kids’ fun room with pumpkin painting, a coloring contest and nail and hair painting.

“We have a horse-pulled wagon ride, too,” said Trytten. “Last year, it was so cold nobody wanted to do that, but we’re trying it again this year. A ride around town should be fun.”

The weekly farmers market will extend from its normal two hours on Saturday morning into an all-day event.

Food, Trytten said, is probably the most anticipated highlight of the celebration. An Oktoberfest-themed menu of brats or dogs with sauerkraut and potato salad, along with big pretzels, pickles on a stick, beer, root beer and apple cider add to the German festivity.

All proceeds raised at the event will go towards building maintenance and utilities of the Kee Town & Country Centre.

According to Trytten, the center is the former site of the Kiester school.

It was restored and is now home to the Kiester Area Historical Society and museum, a new and used gift shop, a rummage sale room and a computer lab. Trytten said the facility is also rented out for birthdays, confirmations, family reunions, class reunions and more.

Trytten said that every dollar raised from any events in the building go towards costs of building maintenance and fees.

According to Trytten, this is the third fall celebration and fundraiser, and the event brings hundreds of alumni back to Kiester each year. “We all graduated from here and wanted to keep Homecoming going once they closed the school,” she said.

“One of big things at our event is the old class pictures on the wall,” she said. “That’s a big draw! Everybody walks up and down halls and looks for their class.”

And while Trytten and other event organizers are ramping up for the event this weekend, they’re already looking forward to next year.

“It might possibly be a music fest,” she said. “We’re just trying different things out, but it will always be billed as homecoming.”

The 3rd annual Homecoming and fundraiser Oktoberfest event will take place at the Kee Town & County Centre from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. The meal will be served from 5 to 7 p.m. The meal cost is $5 per person; other activity fees may be charged at the event.

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