Ladysmith’s Oktoberfest draws large crowds regardless of wet weather “Willkommen”

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Prost! 2013 Oktoberfest Ladysmith organizing committee, October 4

Colleen McAuley
 


Prost! 2013 Oktoberfest Ladysmith organizing committee, October 4

Colleen McAuley
 
THORNE – The 28th annual Oktoberfest took place October 4-6, and was deemed to be a huge success again this year. According to Lorraine Bretzlaff, Oktoberfest Board of Directors President, approximately 5,000 people attend Ladysmith’s Oktoberfest every year. With a large array of activities, the celebration of German heritage offers something for everyone. “The town’s population almost doubles with all the trailers that come to visit Oktoberfest,” said a local resident.
Radio personality, Mark Papousek, emceed the opening ceremony, which included greetings from Charlotte L’Écuyer, Pontiac’s MNA, and Arianne Bouchard who represented Mathieu Ravignat, Pontiac’s MP. Bretzlaff greeted attendees and thanked the many volunteers. Ross Vowles, Mayor of Thorne, and Carl Erfle, Director Coordinator, also spoke at the opening ceremony. Papousek, who has now semi-retired from his career in radio, was presented with a certificate of appreciation from the Board of Directors for his many years of assistance with Oktoberfest.
The festivities began Friday evening with performances by The Danny Sylvester Band and Ambush. The Fashion Show returned again this year, with eight ladies modelling clothing, footwear and accessories provided by Boutique Gwendoline and Shawville Shoe Shop. According to organizers Katharine Hayes-Summerfield and Marjorie Horner, it took 100 hours to arrange the 6th annual show at the TCRA for Oktoberfest. 
A fireworks show, which was originally unscheduled for the event, also took place Friday evening. Shawn and Kim Murdoch donated the remaining fireworks from their wedding for the display, and Bretzlaff’s store, as well as Ladysmith Hotel, contributed additional fireworks for the 15-minute show.
Saturday’s festivities began with the opening of the vendor booths. The major event for the day was the Truck and Tractor Pull, which drew hundreds of people. During the afternoon, 710 Excursions provided free wagon rides throughout town. The Louis Schryer Band and Dai Bassett provided musical entertainment for the day, followed by A Classic Country Re-vu and The Fabulous Heartbeats.
More than 70 participants braved the rainy weather on Sunday to take part in the parade. The Renfrew Highland Pipes & Drums lead numerous horses and classic cars through the streets of Ladysmith and The Edelweiss Band entertained crowds for the remainder of the day.