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Scott Oktoberfest is a fall classic

| Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, 9:03 p.m.

She doesn't remember everything, but one scene from Scott Township's first Oktoberfest celebration 11 years ago stands out to Commissioner Eileen Meyers: a pony clomping its way through thick mud.

“It was a downpour,” the First Ward representative recalled.

It was a start.

Since that soggy afternoon — and aided by Meyers' involvement — Oktoberfest is now perhaps the biggest event on the community calendar. With the potential to draw around 1,000 people to Scott Park, this year's festivities are set for Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“I just really like to see community events where families can come,” Meyers said. “I'm a big advocate of giving the family something to do that's of little or no cost.”

There is plenty of that on tap this weekend — to go with the cold beer, of course.

Free entertainment includes the popular Mansfield 5 singers, returning solo act Vanessa Campagna and a troupe of German dancers. It should all provide a fitting backdrop for the array of seasonal craft and food booths, as well as a Chinese auction.

For children, there are inflatable play structures, pony rides, a petting zoo and craft stations, such as pumpkin painting.

It's a large undertaking for one day — and for seemingly few volunteers — but Scott Manager Denise Fitzgerald credits Meyers' efforts for turning Oktoberfest into an event that overflows parking lots.

“She puts a lot of work into this,” Fitzgerald said. “This has grown to be one of our more successful events.”

Meyers, who gets a big lift from her family in setting up the event, said the success and growth comes from local businesses taking an interest over the years. Even larger retailers, like home improvement giant Lowe's, and specialty businesses, such as massage facilities, have a presence at Oktoberfest.

“It's been more word of mouth,” Meyers said, “people seeing how it is and saying ‘we want to be a part of this.'”

Dan Stefano is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at dstefano@tribweb.com or 412-388-5816.

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