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THOUSAND OAKS | VENTURA COUNTY FOCUS

Rotary to Roll Out the Barrel This Weekend

September 12, 1996|KATE FOLMAR

Strudel lovers, bratwurst munchers, polka dancers and beer drinkers are expected to flock to Sunday's 10th annual Oktoberfest, sponsored by the Newbury Park Rotary Club, even if it is still September.

"There's always been some confusion about the word 'Oktoberfest,' " noted Bob Dempster, a Rotarian and the festival's master of ceremonies. "Even though it's spelled like the word 'October,' it has nothing to do with the month of October. 'Oktoberfest' is just a German word for a festival, traditionally held in the fall."

Semantics aside, the festival is expected to draw 5,000 to 7,000 visitors of all ages, Dempster said. Proceeds from food and drink purchases--which run about $15,000 to $20,000 each year--will be donated to a variety of community service projects, from the rebuilding of the Timber School at the Stagecoach Inn to programs run by United Cerebral Palsy.

"The first and primary thing about Oktoberfest is that it's a family event. We encourage people to bring their children to this wonderful afternoon that supports local charities," Dempster said. "It's a good place to meet some friends, enjoy some good food and some good music."

A five-piece oom-pah-pah band will play polkas all day, and there will be no shortage of oniony, garlicky German potato salad, hot and salty pretzels, home-made sauerkraut and Germany's best-known beverage.

The festival will include more than 75 booths with arts and crafts. For car enthusiasts, BMWs, Audis and Porsches will be on display as well. Younger festival-goers can enjoy pony rides, clowns, puppet shows and more.

Oktoberfest, which is free and open to the public, runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Conejo Creek Park, Janss Road at the Moorpark Freeway. Parking and shuttle buses are free. For more information, call Dempster at 383-2200.

Lederhosen optional.

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