O'Fallon Progress

St. Clare Oktoberfest promises to be bigger and better

St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Church in O’Fallon is offering a bigger-and-better-than-ever Oktoberfest Saturday, Sept. 29, in downtown O’Fallon.

This annual celebration, now in its 18th year, has become known for its food, fun and fellowship for the entire family. This year the Oktoberfest committee has added new games for young people and is starting the food, drinks and music earlier – at 3 p.m.

“We pride ourselves on offering a family-friendly Oktoberfest, featuring music, games, food and plenty to do for people of all ages,” said Oktoberfest chairman Tom Knaust. “And, this year we’re adding a fun new area designed for teens, college-age people and young adults. We call it Das Zone.”

Das Zone will be the place to “hang out” with friends while playing 9 Square in the Air, Giant Jenga or Corn Hole – all for free, Knaust noted.

And there’s another big addition in Das Zone: an escape room.

“We have teamed up with the new Roaming Riddle Mobile Escape Room in O’Fallon to bring the game to Oktoberfest,” Knaust explained. “This incredible, high-quality escape room will provide challenging fun for teams of eight players at a really reasonable entry fee of just $10 per person. So, get some friends together and reserve a playing time at www.stclarechurch.org/ofest. We’ll see if you have what it takes to figure out the puzzles and ‘escape the room’ before the clock runs out!”

Throughout the event, the parish’s heritage will be celebrated with a homemade, sit-down German dinner, imported German beers on tap, brats and pretzels, plus other festival foods, wine and authentic Bavarian-themed décor.

“While our region and our church today include a classic ‘melting pot’ of cultures and nationalities, many of the founders of our parish were first- and second-generation Germans, so our Oktoberfest is a fun tribute to that heritage,” said Father Jim Deiters, St. Clare Parish’s pastor.

Other highlights include the “Rennen and Weg” 5K run/walk with a shorter run for kids, a basket raffle and silent auction, Bingo and other games of chance, family-friendly activities including the “I Dood It” game, pony rides, inflatables and face painting, and live music.

Throughout the evening, the Oktoberfest raffle will award five $100 cash prizes, building to the final draw for $10,000 at the end of the night at 11 p.m.

Registration for the 5K run begins at 3 p.m. and the runners will hit the streets at 4 p.m. The dinner will be open from 4 to 7 p.m. inside the St. Clare School gym, while other festival foods and drinks will be available all evening. Additionally, the band South of Sanity will play from 7 to 11 p.m.

The festival is located at 3rd and Cherry streets in downtown O’Fallon.

Complete information on St. Clare’s 18th Annual Oktoberfest can be found at www.stclarechurch.org/ofest.

Want to go?

What: St Clare Oktoberfest, with food, entertainment, inflatables and games

Who: For everyone

When: Saturday, Sept. 29, 3-11 p.m.

Where: Third and Cherry Streets in downtown O’Fallon