By Devese “Dee” Ursery, Reporter
This past Saturday, VFW Post 976 hosted a family-friendly fall festival to raise money in support of the children and families of fallen veterans.
Residents of Troy came out in droves in support of the first annual Oktoberfest, with well over 1,000 in attendance at Tri-Township Park. The inaugural event was put together to raise money for the VFW National Home for Children, which provides assistance for families of VFW members, active duty service members, and veterans during times of hardship.
The huge crowd was truly a surprise to Post 976.
“This is outstanding. We could not ask for a better turn-out, this is huge,” Tony Avers, president of VFW post 976 said. “Thanks to the community for showing support and helping support us and the National Home for Children. It’s just… I can’t even put it into words. It’s beyond our expectations.”
The festivities began around noon, with German sausages on the grill, Dachshunds and other breeds of dogs strolling with their masters mingling in the park. Butch’s Polka Kings took the at 1 p.m. playing live polka/oompah styled music. There were all kinds of activities for adults and kids of all ages, like potato sack races, flunkyball, dizzy bat races, and bucketball, to name a few. There was also a Dachshund Derby that took place at 3 p.m.
And what is an Oktoberfest without a keg toss challenge. Men and women participated in this event.
Revelers bought food from the different vendors that participated, but had to get ID’d to receive an armband in order to purchase alcohol tickets.
This was an event to bring the citizens of Troy and surrounding communities together for a good time and for a good cause.
“Kenny [Jackson], one of our members came up to the leadership team and had an idea for doing something big for Troy, since Homecoming was gone and there wasn’t anything else coming in the city, we settled on Oktoberfest,” Avers said. “The event, this year, is to raise funds for the VFW National Home for Children, to give the people of Troy and the surrounding area something to come out and enjoy. To try and start an annual event for everybody to come together doing different charities each year.”
“Maybe next year’s charity will be the Brad Smith Scholarship Fund.”